Cross GT takes Kia design in a bold new direction
Hints at the future of the brand’s premium aesthetic in a larger segment
Blurring the line between Kia’s gorgeous GT concept and a luxury crossover vehicle, Kia Motors America today unveiled the beautiful Cross GT concept at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show. The Cross GT with its elegant yet powerful stance confirms, once again, Kia’s now-well-established reputation for world-class design.
The Cross GT seamlessly melds high technology with nature, creating a harmonious partnership between driver and vehicle that also respects our global environment. Purely conceptual, the Cross GT reveals Kia’s intentions to potentially offer a larger premium SUV than the current Sorento in certain markets.
Commenting on Kia’s latest concept car, Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors Corporation President and Global Chief of Design, said: “The debut of the GT in 2011 heralded a new frontier for Kia, both from a design and a business perspective. It beautifully illustrated to the world that the brand was ready to explore the possibility of perhaps one day offering a full-size rear-wheel-drive luxury saloon. The Cross GT, with its raised stance and large cargo area, allows us to envision the GT in the form of a full-size luxury crossover.”
While the GT’s lines were penned in Frankfurt, Germany, the Cross GT hails from Kia Design Center America (KDCA) in Irvine, California, the house that breathed life into the Track’ster, KV7 and Soul’ster concepts, and most recently the all-new production 2014 Forte saloon – Kia’s C-segment model outside of Europe.
Based on the GT chassis, the Cross GT’s proportions are similar to its rear-wheel-drive stable mate with short overhangs, a long wheelbase and an aggressively wide posture. But the Cross GT offers even greater visibility thanks to its taller stature and features all-wheel drive for improved performance and all-weather capability.
Drawing inspiration from nature, driven by technology and bathed in gorgeous Fusion Copper, the Cross GT is powered by an efficient hybrid powertrain that looks to reduce the vehicle’s carbon footprint while providing the uncompromising performance that’s expected of a large, luxury crossover.
Utilising a state-of-the-art 3.8-litre V6 hybrid, 8-speed automatic and torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive, the Cross GT’s powertrain matches the sophistication of the exterior and interior designs. Supplementing the V6 is an evolution of Kia’s parallel hybrid system, a pancake-shaped electric motor positioned between the V6 and transmission.
Combined, the V6 and electric motor produce 500 lb/ft of torque and 400 horsepower, with an all-electric range of 20 miles – sufficient to enable exhilarating performance, while delivering superior fuel economy and fuel efficiency.
While strictly a concept powertrain, Kia’s proven hybrid technology, combined with all-wheel drive are thought-provoking ideas that may one day find their way into a production vehicle.
Although clearly a member of the same bloodline as the award-winning Sorento, the Cross GT cuts an even more imposing figure. At 122.0 inches (3099mm), the Cross GT’s wheelbase is longer than Sorento’s by 15.7 inches (399mm), and its overall length of 192.8 inches (4897mm) is 8.4 inches (213mm) greater than Sorento. The 79.1-inch (2009mm) width is 4.9 inches (124mm) wider than Sorento, but the Cross GT’s overall height of 65.3 inches (1659mm) is actually 1.6 inches (41mm) shorter, giving the concept a lower roofline than most large CUVs.
The Cross GT is designed to easily accommodate four passengers and their cargo in luxurious surroundings, but the large greenhouse, airy cabin and gently sloping bonnet give the Cross GT a nimble feel that’s at home in crowded urban environments.
The Cross GT’s sophisticated image is enhanced by the dual rear-hinged doors, more commonly referred to as “suicide” doors. This unique configuration allows for easy access to the rear bucket seats and affords generous views of the Cross GT’s premium textures and materials. The cargo compartment is accessed through a “clam shell” design that incorporates a traditional glass hatch and a tailgate.
Use of advanced LED technology creates a strong and unique lighting identity that dramatically highlights Kia’s signature grille. Letting light into the cabin is a multi-panelled sky light with hexagonal glass inserts that enhance the Cross GT’s premium design aesthetic.