Design & Technology / Product

All-new Sportage Design Development Story-Exterior April 16th, 2010

By Massimo Frascella, design manager
Chi Young Kim, designer
Kia Design Center

In 2007 the Kia California design center displayed the Kia Kue concept at the Detroit Auto show and the goal was to showcase the future styling direction for our emerging brand. The car illustrated the new Kia design language with a minimalistic approach where clean surfaces and modern lines contribute to a simple and distinctive look.

Sportage is a model that draws generously from the innovative look of the Kue concept car. Following the Soul and Forte Koup, it furthers the distinctive Kia design DNA, underlining the company’s image and reputation as a design-led company. In particular, the KUE concept won the Eyes on the Design Award.

When we started the production program three years ago, we wanted the new Sportage to carry all the functional benefits and features of the old model into a completely new and redesigned body. The new Sportage had to be sporty and sleek, opposite to the full rugged look of the previous one, with a more urban lifestyle approach. The Kue show car was the perfect image.

The proportions of the vehicle were key to achieving this and possibly the most difficult challenge, since the production package was considerably different. The new Sportage sits well on the wheels and has a great road presence. We visually cut the corners to convey an even more compact volume and emphasize the wheel size and position. The extreme plan view curve allowed us to design pronounced wheel flares that dramatically improved the stance giving an additional sporty flavor to the vehicle.

The front translates very closely to the styling elements of the Kue concept and proudly presents the new face of Kia, with dynamic swept back head lamps, the signature Kia grille and a distinctive lower fascia treatment. The black bezel headlamp and light guide, which were found on the Cadenza, are details that identify the Kia Motors brand to consumers.

The relation body to glass, with a high beltline, gives the car an almost coupe’ proportion and the generous C pillar gives solidity and balance at the same time to the side view. The surfacing is very modern and clean and a full sectioned body side is defined by a spearing shoulder throughout the whole length of the car, visually connecting headlamps and tail lamps. The crispness of this line, together with the lower body feature, conveys a sense of precision and dynamism. The 18-inch large-diameter wheel and muscular wheel arches produce a powerful stance while the darker cladding brings a touch of ruggedness to the car, and the darker cladding brings a touch of ruggedness to the whole car.

The aggressive graphic line that connects with the front end and the clean yet contemporary rear contribute to a solid stance. The raised rear window graphic imparts volume while the prominent shoulder line completes a fantastic rear view silhouette.

The harmony of the sharp graphic line and high-tech details add refinement to the rear combi-lamp while the separate turn signal indicators are considered a style element unique to Sportage

Sportage follows the example of Mohave and Soul, born from the marriage of concept and mass-produced cars. As a result, it is able to satisfy consumers’ desire for a fresh and inspiring look, while also bringing designers’ dreams to reality. Accordingly, future projects are also likely to be inspired by concept cars.

Overall, the 2011 Sportage will bring the functionality and versatility of the old model into a sleek, modern and bold style, with new proportions and a completely new look which will contribute to elevate the Kia brand as a world design leader. Hopefully, the new Sportage will be embraced by drivers as a vehicle that evokes emotions and delivers pleasure on the roads.

The all-new Sportage interior design story is coming soon. Stay tuned!

  • jtz

    This is one heck of a design. I like how each model carries its own little unique character and yet they have the same signature grille. Unlike Mitsubishi’s new Outlander that is just a click and paste from the Lancer’s front end. That’s easy to do.

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  • kopee

    this is one awesome design…..gr8 job guyz!

  • Marco

    good shape, I like it, hw to get more spec & price info ? thks

  • leonardo ponce

    like to now the diesel model

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  • David

    Hi Kia friends,

    I’m living in Colombia and i want to know when we going to have this model here and the specs of it.

    thanks in advance,


  • Zanfre

    The Sportage was just launched in South Africa. We don’t have xenon headlights as an option here but want to know if the Sportage in other regions have xenon lights as an optional extra?

  • don go

    nice work for the design of the new sportage, the 2nd generation didn’t get that much hype and attention here in the philippines, im looking forward to have the third generation here (when will this model be available in our country?), and hopefully im going to owe one. and by the way our family owned 2 generations of kia sorento, bought the 2nd generation last 3months and im still using the first generation for 6years.

  • Thanks. Decent blog. I actually like the topic. straightforward on the eyeballs and good for reading material.

  • Andrés

    I just bought one in Colombia, i can wait to drive it!!!

  • @ Andres

    Congratulations! We hope you like the all-new Sportage!

  • Gonzalo

    I bought one two weeks ago here in Bolivia, is a real pleasure to drive.

  • John

    Waiting too long for Sportage to be release here in the Philipppines… 

  • Mordad 72

    hi kia firends
    in iran we buy this car about 60000$
    and in iran this car is so expensive

  • Jonhy Bravo

    I just bought a Sportage here in Brazil! Hhuuuhhuuuuhhhuuuuuuu!!
    Also I can not wait to drive it!
    I performed a test drive and found the fabulous car!

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  • … real nice and sleek tahy Speedster! 
    Other models are due: I wander what the RONDO 2013-14 line will look like! Love mine 2008: ready to change? but no rush; this design will never age! :) Good work, KIA designers!
    Looking now for what Peter Schreyr’s pen will do to it?  

  • Eagerly looking for new RONDO design for 2013-14?

  • julio

    I love my sportage, despe perth Australia.

  • Againza

    Any plans for changing the Mohave?