Kia is no longer the purveyor of cheap, basic vehicles with the emotional appeal of an Ikea toilet seat. The 2018 Stinger propelled the brand into the sport sedan segment for the first time in its existence, and the newest Kia concept suggests we might soon see a sexy wagon.
The model hasn’t been fully revealed yet; we don’t even know what it’s called at this point. Kia promises it’s a shooting brake — meaning it’s essentially a sleeker, sportier station wagon — based on the oddly named pro_cee’d, a hatchback sold in an array of global markets including Europe. Kia is based in South Korea, but the concept was penned by its design center in Frankfurt, Germany, and developed with European buyers in mind.
“The extended hot hatch retains the athleticism of the current pro_cee’d model, while combining visual presence with a dash of real-world versatility,” the company promised in a short statement.
The shooting brake again takes Kia into a segment it has never competed in before. The brand has sold numerous station wagons in the past – how can you forget the Rio wagon? – but a shooting brake is entirely different. The term is almost sacred among enthusiasts because of the cachet it carries, and it’s usually reserved for much more prestigious brands. The Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo and the limited-edition Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato are two recent models which perfectly illustrate the concept.
Kia clearly wants to lure more enthusiasts into showrooms. That’s easier said than done, and a curvaceous silhouette alone won’t be enough. The company needs to install a punchy engine, and craft a chassis which makes the car an absolute blast to drive on twisty back roads. We wouldn’t mind if it came with a six-speed manual transmission, but Kia won’t release technical details for another couple of weeks.
Kia’s shooting brake concept will make its full debut on September 12, which is the opening day of the Frankfurt Auto Show. It’s too early to tell if it will spawn a production model or if it will remain a design study, though most of the brand’s recent concepts have made the jump to production.