Design & Technology

Concept cars: Kia’s dream machines August 18th, 2016


Avant-garde in design and form, concept cars often steal the spotlight at major motor shows. Since the early 2000s, Kia has captured the world’s attention by introducing mind-blowingly innovative conceptual designs.

Take a look at some of Kia’s unique concept cars through the years and explore how Kia’s design language has developed over the last decade.


Early concept cars (2003-2005)

Kia’s early concept vehicles were characterized by rounded lines to provide a sporty and sturdy appearance. Simple but dynamic, the first concept cars focused heavily on driving practicality and modern styling.




Slice (KCD-1), Kia’s very first concept vehicle, was a crossover SUV that prioritized comfortable and practical driving. The car was first revealed at the 2003 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).




The Mojave (KCV-4), unveiled in 2004, features bold strong styling with suicide doors. The concept gets its name from the Californian desert where the Hyundai-Kia California Proving Ground facility is located, and later influenced the design of the Kia Borrego full-size SUV.


New design directions (2006 – 2007)

With an even stronger focus on design under the direction of Peter Schreyer, Kia’s concept cars started to display dramatic styling DNA changes.




The cee’d (KED-1) and pro_cee’d (KED-2) concepts were predecessors to the current day production cee’d family line-up in Europe. Both concepts were revealed in 2006.





A conceptual version of today’s ever popular Kia Soul, the Soul (KND-3) concept car made its world premiere at the 2006 NAIAS. Its iconic design combined with excellent functionality is embodied in the current day box-shaped market-leading model.




The Kia Kee (KED-4) concept is an elegant 2-door coupe that was first displayed at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show. As the first model to showcase Kia’s signature tiger-nose grille, the unveiling of this stunning concept signaled that a major design transformation was underway at Kia.




Kue (KCD-3) is a sedan inspired crossover utility vehicle that shows off a futuristic look thanks to its clean body style and distinct character lines. The concept features elegant butterfly doors and became the first Kia concept to receive a design accolade, taking home the ‘Eyes on Design Award’ at the 2007 NAIAS.


Exciting dynamic performance (2008-2009)




Koup (KCD-4) is simple yet bold with an aggressive exterior complemented by a sleek interior design.. The elegant shape of the concept illustrates the future shape and evolution of Kia.




Soul’ster (KCD-5) is a Soul-based 4-seat MPV with an open concept. Its vibrant and sporty design was introduced at the 2009 NAIAS and was named ‘Concept Truck of the Year’ by the Automotive Hall of Fame.


Eco-friendly and futuristic (2010-2011)




The aircraft-inspired Ray (KCD-6) is a hybrid concept that combines futuristic style with efficient green technology. Its lightweight, recycled materials give the model a distinct look, and it’s the first Kia to include solar panels.




All-electric with no emissions, Kia Pop (KED-7) represents Kia’s vision of future green transportation with stand-out features such as unconventional side-windows and a unique dot-patterned grille.




GT (KED-8) is the first rear-wheel-drive concept in Kia’s history. The concept is drawn from the idea of a grand touring car that serves as a luxury sport sedan and high performance vehicle for long range road trips.




As a modern activity van, the Kia KV7 (KCD-7) concept combines the features of a minivan and an SUV. Revealed at the 2011 NAIAS, it received an IDEA design award for design excellency the same year.


New innovations (2012-2015)




Dubbed the ultimate performance edition of the Soul, Track’ster (KCD-8) is a 3-door hatchback designed for toughness, dynamics and powerful performance. With a bold and eye-catching paint scheme, the concept received an enthusiastic welcome from car enthusiasts.




Introduced at the 83rd Geneva Motor Show in 2013, the sleek, low, and muscular coupe-style hatchback Provo (KED-9) brings a smart-hybrid solution to Kia’s fun-focused concept. With a simple and strong exterior body and stunning interior treatment, the Provo is a delight all around.




Playful but sturdy, Niro (KED-10) with its muscular form, premium amenities and powerful engine with hybrid electric drive fulfilled a new urban lifestyle concept. The concept also featured with butterfly doors, an option usually adopted by supercars.




GT4 Stinger (KCD-10) is an authentic rear-drive sport coupe that matches superb driving experience with a futuristic design language. It is no surprise that the GT4 Stinger won Kia another IDEA Design Award in 2014.




A mean, green fastback saloon, Novo (KND-9) was revealed at Seoul Motor Show in 2015. Aimed for modern city dwellers with frantic schedules, the minimalistic concept provided a glimpse into Kia’s future plan for compact cars.




An off-road model for the Soul, Trail’ster is Kia’s most rugged concept car yet. It’s nature-inspired design and strong driving power makes it the perfect vehicle for the road less traveled. The e-AWD system delivers optimized driving performance that responsively adapts to road surface conditions for a more stable ride on snowy and rough roads.




Telluride (KCD-12) is the most recent model in Kia’s concept line-up. Featuring never-before-seen health and wellness technology complete with a stunning, vibrant color scheme, the concept was revealed in Detroit at the 2016 NAIAS.

Explore Kia’s amazing round-up of concept cars and stay tuned for more concepts in the future. There is more to come!