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First look: Kia Kue points to future Sorento

Design cues: Key elements of the concept could end up in production.

Kia rolls out another star car

9 Jan 2007

KIA claims its Kue concept is a true driver's vehicle.

Aimed squarely at the Mazda CX-7, the Kue has just made its debut at the Detroit motor show and the concept is tipped to become a production reality as a possible replacement for the Sorento.

According to Kia Motors America chief designer, Tom Kearns, good design "shouldn’t look like you are trying too hard".

"The future Kia direction will incorporate the 'less is more' philosophy but still include a heavy dose of boldness to be distinct," he said.

The Kue has a monocoque body that sits on 22-inch tyres with a 2895mm wheelbase and overall length of 4724mm.

That puts it squarely into Sorento territory, which has a 2710mm wheelbase and is 4567mm long.

Although purely a concept at this stage, the sleek machine does hint at future styling directions for Kia Motors, which has been delivering some well rounded vehicles like the recent C'eed.

Like the Mazda CX-7 the Kue is sleek and sporty with a long, low bonnet and wheels that are pushed to the corners to create an aggressive on-road stance. The flared wheel-arches also help complete this visual treat.

The headlights are swept back, along with the grille to create a clean, aggressive appearance while the side windows flow into the rear hatch area.

The single side doors opens scissor style for easy access.

Inside the Kue has a four-seater cabin with custom-built bucket seats.

Touch pad and motion-sensing controls are used to adjust things like audio and climate, and the entire system is programmable so that one surface may activate the stereo for one driver and temperature for another. Rear passengers have their own, separate interface.

Power is courtesy of a supercharged 298kW/542Nm 4.6-litre V8 with a full-time all-wheel drive system.

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