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Kia outs radical looking new-gen Sportage, here Q4

Opposites unite in all-new Kia Sportage with design cues taken from inbound EV6

8 Jun 2021

KIA Corporation has released the first official images of its fifth-generation Sportage ahead of the mid-sized SUV’s Australian launch in the last quarter of this year, flaunting a radical new exterior look full of angles and contours.


Penned under the brand’s new ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy, the biggest talking point of the latest Sportage will be a bold front fascia that blends many of the elements seen on the related Hyundai Tucson with some signature Kia touches, including the ‘tiger nose’ grille.


For starters, the headlights have been dropped down well below the bonnet line – a touch first seen on the Nissan Juke more than a decade ago and has since become more commonplace – enabling the LED daytime running lights to act as the stars of the show and skirting the bonnet line before curving down to separate the headlights from the grille.


The grille itself is finished in a chunky black mesh, crowned by a grey plastic trim piece while the DRLs, headlights and bonnet line are all outlined in black, almost as though the car is wearing eyeliner.


A blacked-out lower intake is contrasted against pieces of grey trim encompassing the fog-lights, below which with the whole fascia is underlined by a black chin spoiler.


Perhaps the most obvious example of the Opposites United philosophy is how the Sportage’s sharp front angles are offset by the flowing, elegant curves of the flanks, compared with its Tucson cousin’s harsh creases.


Drifting upwards to complement the muscular rear haunches is the window-line which is eventually met at the D-pillar by the sloping roof.


To the rear is a tailgate design clearly inspired by the incoming all-electric EV6, with a matching crease just below the rear window and almost identical tail-lights.


A silver bumper insert acts as an imitation diffuser to help inject a level of sportiness to the package, flicking up on either side to surround what could have been exhausts but instead ended up being nothing but fake mesh.


Global Kia design boss Karim Habib confirmed the EV6 was one of two major design influences on the new Sportage, the other being the brand’s recent relaunch.


“Reinventing the Sportage gave our talented design teams a tremendous opportunity to do something new; to take inspiration from the recent brand relaunch and introduction of EV6 to inspire customers through modern and innovative SUV design,” he said.


“With the all-new Sportage, we didn’t simply want to take one step forward but instead move on to a different level in the SUV class.”


Inside the cabin, the dashboard is ruled by the new integrated curved display – again as seen in the EV6 – encompassing both the digital instrument cluster and infotainment system.


Stand out features include the one-piece air vents resembling the DRL signature (a theme continued by the door handles), rotary gear selector, independent HVAC panel and contrasting colour scheme that will almost certainly be an option on the higher grades.


“When you see the all-new Sportage in person, with its sleek but powerfully dynamic stance, and when you sit inside the detailed-oriented cabin with its beautifully detailed interior and first-class materials, you’ll see we have achieved those goals and set new benchmarks,” Mr Habib said.


“In the all-new Sportage, we believe you can see the future of our brand and our products.”


As for powertrains, it would be safe to assume the Sportage will replicate the Tucson’s engine line-up with the familiar petrol and diesel engines being carried over, albeit with a few tweaks, along with the corresponding transmissions and drive configurations.


Hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains have also been confirmed to be under study.

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