By Mike Hanley on February 7, 2013
The Cross GT concept is a full-size crossover SUV that "reveals Kia's intentions to potentially offer a larger premium CUV than the current Sorento," the automaker said in a statement. Kia points to its sporty four-door GT concept car as the design inspiration for the Cross GT, but the crossover concept — it's 8 inches longer, 5 inches wider and 2 inches lower than the Sorento — has its own look.
The Cross GT's upright front end gets a version of Kia's familiar winged grille as well as impossibly slim headlights. Otherwise, the crossover's front is short on vents of any kind, instead opting for continuous surfaces. Despite its concept status, the Cross GT's overall shape is relatively conventional and doesn't appear far-removed from a potential production version.The concept gets a unique hybrid powertrain that consists of a 3.8-liter V-6 engine, electric motor and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The drivetrain sends power to all four wheels through a torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system, and Kia claims an all-electric range of 20 miles.
The four-seat cabin emphasizes eco-friendly materials like leather upholstery that hasn't been processed with chemicals, reharvested walnut wood trim and wool-felt trim. The cabin also has a number of display screens — one in front for air conditioning, entertainment and other systems and two mounted to the backs of the front seats so rear passengers can access entertainment functions, including the internet.
Why you'd build such a large crossover — even in concept form — and put just four seats in it doesn't make much sense, but concept cars are usually about the looks.
Senior Editor Mike Hanley is a father of three boys; he reviews new cars, admires classic cars and has embraced the minivan lifestyle. Email Mike