Kia Cub Concept-13

We’re in a crazy car week with three big motor shows happening simultaneously – New York, Bangkok and now Seoul. With global attention on the Big Apple, Kia has elected to bring all its big guns to NYC (new Forte Koup, new Soul, Optima facelift) leaving a concept car for its home show. But it’s a cute one, the Kia Cub Concept.

Designed at Kia HQ studio in Seoul, the little Cub is less than four meters long, has rearward-opening rear doors and an “access-all-areas” interior concept without traditional B-pillars. Kia describes the Cub, which revisits the 2007 Kia Kee Concept in a new form, as a car “with a cheerful face and a daring character.”

The Cub’s face features a broad wrap-around “mouth” and there is a dip on the top of the windshield – a motif that we’ve seen before on Kias. The latest interpretation of grille is a shallower design incorporating the turbocharger’s air intake, highlighted in body colour.

The headlamps feature two-point LED lights that are similar to those which first appeared on the Kia Quoris flagship sedan last year. Large 19-inch alloys fill the wheelarches and the front doors have aerodynamic “turning-vanes” at sill level to streamline the flanks.

“The new Kia Cub is a compact, four-door coupe created with a clear focus on driving performance and practicality. Styled to appeal to trend-setting urban dwellers, the Cub features a comfortable four-seater cabin which generates an emotional, feel-good response and delivers everyday, real-world benefits,” said Thomas Oh, senior executive VP and COO at Kia.

The Cub concept features a new version of the company’s 1.6L GDI engine, the unit recently confirmed for the new Kia pro_cee’d GT and cee’d GT sold in Europe. The 204 PS/265 Nm engine is paired to a six-speed manual gearbox in the Euro hatches, giving them a 0-100 km/h time of 7.7 seconds and a top speed of 230 km/h.

Unfortunately, there are no current plans to put the Kia Cub concept into production. The key word is current because Kia is now seriously considering bringing some recent concepts to life.