2007 L.A. Auto Show: Kia KND-4 Concept

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  • Looks like: A futuristic SUV
  • Defining characteristics: Square, 90-degree upright back end
  • Ridiculous features: Full computer keyboard for the front passenger
  • Chance of being mass-produced: Slim; this is just a glimpse into the future

Car shows used to be just as much about futuristic concept cars as about cars coming to showrooms. That’s changed as of late, but we still like to see cars the Jetsons would drive (if they weren’t flying). In L.A., Kia has delivered a pure concept that it calls a look at the future of its SUV lineup. The KND-4 has some aspects we’d like to see in SUVs today and some others that are a bit spacey.

The proposed engine would be a turbo-diesel, which might be more accepted in the U.S. by the time a production version of a car like this materializes. There’s also a full computer keyboard that slides out of the front dash so passengers can check their email, we guess, though in a world of QWERTY keyboards slapped onto cell phones we wonder why anyone would need a full-size version.

What could be incorporated into any of today’s SUVs is a nifty under-floor storage system in the rear cargo area that has one section that lifts out like a hard-sided suitcase. We can take or leave the looks, but bring more innovative storage pronto.

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