Following the GT Concept of 2011, Kia has now brought a vision of a larger premium CUV to the Chicago Auto Show. The new car was designed by the Frankfurt team, but built by Kia's American Design Center in Irvine, Califronia.
Based on the GT chassis, it's powered by a V6 hybrid with a combined output of 400 hp and 500 lb-ft, with the power reaching the road via an 8-speed automatic and a torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system. It also has a range of 20 miles in full electric mode.
Compared to the current Sorento, the concept is 8.4-inches longer, 4.9-inches wider, and has its wheelbase enlarged by 15.7 inches. Still, its overall height of 65.3 inches is actually 1.6 inches shorter, giving the concept a lower roofline than you would expect. It's also very friendly to the environment, as its interior is only using re-harvested American Walnut, renewable wool and leather that was only cured by vegetable oil using natural dyes and no chemicals. Still, some dead cows were certainly involved in the process.
The Cross GT seems to be an indicator of Kia's plan to get into the luxury CUV segment. We just hope they keep the suicide doors and the multi-panel panoramic roof when it reaches production. Then we'd really have something to like about the idea of another useless luxury CUV.