Kia Europe Chief Designer Gregory Guillaume is in an enviable position, admits the man himself, and the Kia POP concept is a typically wacky design that few of his counterparts have the freedom to explore. “Designers from other companies regularly approach me at motor shows and say ‘I would never even be allowed to try and carry that one off’ and it’s great to be in a position to operate with such freedom,” he said.
“A concept car like the POP could only have come from us,” said the Frenchman, who is based in Frankfurt. “The POP fits in perfectly with our ‘challenger brand’ ethos. We’re trying to stir things up in the automotive world, to surprise people even more. We wanted this car to act as a loose nucleus, a wild atom.
“Many of the things that influenced this design were non-automotive,” Guillaume explains. “We were looking at lightweight, aerodynamic things, such as gliders and high-speed bicycles. We realised that the automotive world wasn’t inspiring us to achieve what we wanted to achieve. The seats are designed to be non-automotive. They’re very pure, very simple, almost furniture-like,” he adds.
Not meant to preview any upcoming car, the POP is an EV with a 68 PS/190 Nm motor and a single-charge range of 160 km. It’s powered by compact lithium polymer gel batteries by LG Chem that’s fully rechargeable in six hours. Lithium polymer gel batteries offers the same performance as a typical Li-ion battery, but with 20% reduction in size and reduced manufacturing complexity.
Live gallery and studio shots are after the jump.
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