THE PROVOCATEUR

| 2013-03-04 | 0 Comments

Looking every centimetre a road-legal racer, Kia’s new provo concept, unveiled at the 83rd Geneva Motor Show, mixes ultra-modern technology with a self-confident and agile look.Kia_Provo_5The sleek, low, yet muscular coupe-style hatchback mixes a petrol-fuelled turbo-charged engine with clever regenerative-electric motors to bring a smart-hybrid solution to this fun-focused concept that points to Kia Motors’ future B-segment expansion plans.
Kia_Provo_6It combines a 1.6-litre Turbo GDI engine producing 204 ps with smart-4WD-hybrid technology from an electric motor delivering an additional power surge to the rear wheels when required and also allowing low-speed electric-only motion. The regenerative-powered electric motor driving the rear wheels either automatically when required during cornering and in strong acceleration – giving a power boost of as much as 45 ps – or in a button-activated creep-mode at low speeds to avoid emissions in city traffic or when ‘stealth’ is required. The regenerative system captures its power during braking when in normal use. A seven-speed DCT transmission – Kia’s first – completes the impressive technical package.
Kia_Provo_2The compact provo is 3.88-metres long, 1.77-metres wide and 1.35-metres tall. Planting provo firmly in touch with the road are distinctive 225/40 19-inch milled-alloy wheels with a traditional ‘cast’ look fixed by single centre nuts. And with just a 2.53-metre wheelbase, exciting handling and road-holding is guaranteed.
Kia_Provo_4Moving inside, the Kia Europe Design team was able to let imaginations run free although in typical Kia fashion it delivers clear functionality with exuberant style – essential if provo is to go into production at some point in the future.
Kia_Provo_7Opening the two side doors – via flush-fitting push-up electronic handles that operate with a satisfying electric click – reveals that the polished aluminium panels featured in the external sculpted flanks extend to create a relatively high-level two-step sill into the car – cut-away at the leading edge to allow easier ingress and exit. The next surprise is the door construction itself – the doors are made from three individual panels – the outer panel, a carbon-fibre inner panel and a neoprene-covered inner section. The inner door releases are reassuringly solid polished aluminium.
Kia_Provo_1The dashboard is made from a single expanse of carbon fibre, but does not extend down to the floor – deliberately – in order to keep the footwells clear and uncluttered except for polished aluminium footrests and pedals. Set on the centre tunnel are two control hubs – the engine stop-start button and drive selector for the seven-speed DCT transmission and a Multi-Media Interface control.
Kia_Provo_3Modern materials allow the front seat construction to be made from a single wave-like panel running from one door sill to the other – covered in quilted leather. The seat backrests are cleverly mounted on a rotating aluminium track so that instead of folding forward, they spin into the centre of the vehicle allowing easy access to the admittedly occasional-use rear seats.

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Category: HYBRIDS, NEWS