Hyundai may be big in India, but sister brand Kia isn’t even present in the market. That will change soon, as Kia will kick off retail sales in India in the second half of 2019. And this, the Kia SP Concept making its world debut at the Delhi AutoExpo 2018 show, “provides a glimpse of what’s in store.”

Kia says that the SP Concept is an SUV “inspired by Indian heritage and driven by advanced technology,” proof of the Korean brand’s plans to introduce cars that cater to the changing paradigm of the Indian market in the near future. Kia’s first model for India is a B-segment SUV that will rival the Hyundai Creta. It appears more butch than the Stonic, Kia’s B-SUV for Europe.

The SP Concept’s face combines a bold design with Kia’s unique signature ‘tiger nose’ grille, connected to two-tier LED lighting. Speaking of LEDs, there’s a unique strip of LED lights on the (contrasting white) roof, above the windscreen.

Kia says that the interior “marries an advanced sensual style and dynamic sensibility at its core,” an oasis for young trendsetters. The combination of the digital instrument panel and central screen is very modern Mercedes, as seen on the E-Class and just-unveiled A-Class.

“Over the last few years, SUVs have become the vehicle-of-choice among Indian buyers. Combining the comfort and space of a sedan with the ability to tackle all kinds of terrain, we intend to storm the market with an SUV that will set new parameters in motoring. It’s still a concept – so it’s a little bit exaggerated – but the actual production car will be very close to what you see here,” said the man who modernised Kia’s design, chief design officer Peter Schreyer.

Apart from the SP Concept, Kia is putting on a big show at the Delhi show, with 16 global models displayed. What do you think of the SP Concept’s looks compared to the Sportage?

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