Design & Technology / Product

New small electric CUV concept presented by Kia May 9th, 2011

The Kia Naimo is a concept car with a unique charm. The car, which was a sensational hit at the 2011 Seoul Motor Show, is named after the Korean word for “square,” which was Romanized into English. The square design provides the model with space efficiency and reflects a simple and graceful Korean image.

The light jade exterior color is reminiscent of Asian Celadon-style pottery, which represents the beauty of Korea. The traditional Korean elements give a fresh interpretation to Kia’s evolving global design. It also adds stylish beauty to the car’s refined and simple exterior.

The interior includes futuristic and environmentally-friendly attributes, as it combines the latest technologies with harmonious, tranquil elements of the environment. The Naimo’s interior allows occupants to “experience” nature with natural, nontoxic and lightweight materials like wood and Korean Hanji (traditional paper).
In addition to these features, the Naimo offers a mobile lifestyle. Its space includes features like a TOLED Storming Display Cluster, tablet PC capabilities and more, allowing for unlimited communication-enabled movement.

An image from early concept development

The story of the Naimo’s development was this. Kia designers of the advanced design team were planning a new concept with focus on B-segment CUVs. They aimed to design a vehicle that was both stylish and highly space efficient to meet the various demands of customers in the small vehicle segment.

Early rough sketches: The objective was to create a futuristic feel, concise dimensions and bold details. These renderings were inspired by shapes of soft rice cakes, boxy erasers and cute animals

Scale model

Exterior/interior rendering images: The “Suicide Door” makes it easy to get into the car and maximize the car’s feeling of openness. The tailgate door’s opening makes it very convenient to load and unload items of various sizes

1:1 scale model work: It took several modifications to get to its current form

Naimo at the Seoul Motor Show and Naimo outside. Its color and overall feel change depending on the lighting

“Basically, the Naimo’s body volume is simple and modest. It was not easy to execute subtle changes in the body volume, as it could look too boring or too heavy depending on how the changes are made. It was necessary to obtain both balance and unity,” explained exterior designer Byung-Chul Kim.

This was also stressed in creating the interior. “In the beginning, we were worried that it was too simple. We tried to work on fine details within the bigger frame and make sure that the design was never boring,” said interior designer Hae-Sung Shin.

“We strived to create a very unique and contemporary car with extra value and a strong personality. We hoped to provide a fresh impression of Korea and the Kia brand for worldwide consumers with a car that combines futuristic elements with traditional Korean beauty,” said Dae-Sik Shin, leader of the Naimo project.