The KIA CUB Concept was unveiled at the 2013 Seoul International Motor Show and represents KIA’s current thinking regarding young, urban dwellers. Sick (in a good way) looking – right? With nearly 200 horsepower under the hood, it also represents a modern interpretation of a hot hatch.
“Fitted with a twin-scroll turbocharger and strengthened internal components, the new engine generates 51 per cent more power (204 ps) and 60 per cent more torque (265 Nm) than the regular 1.6-litre unit. This engine enables both of Kia’s European GT models, with a six-speed manual transmission, to accelerate to 62mph in 7.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 143mph.” – – KIA Media
Now, 204 ps translates to about 201 hp which ain’t too shabby!
Let me lay this on you: we know that the Volkswagen GTI, Mazdaspeed3 and Hyundai Veloster Turbo are the best turbo hot-hatches in the class – right? Problem is, they are pricey. What if the KIA CUB Concept became a reality and was priced lower than the aforementioned? Hummm… that sounds damn good to me!
The Hyundai Veloster Turbo starts at about $22,000 with the normally aspirated Veloster stating at under $18,000. It’s easy to imagine a car like the KIA CUB Concept slotting in just under the Veloster. If it handles as good as it looks, this could be just the thing to sate folks who pine for pricier hot hatches from Germany and Japan.
Regarding the interior, KIA says, “The instrument cluster design is inspired by the eyes of a wild animal. The centre-stack design is minimalist with an air vent controlled by touch sensor. For extra safety, the steering wheel rim is capable of monitoring the driver’s biorhythms.
As well as a steering-wheel, there is a DIS (Driving Information System) controller connected to a gesture camera which provides easier operation while driving. With well-defined motions, drivers can set up each menu on the centre display. Hinting at the high-performance nature of the CUB, there is a footrest provided in the front passenger footwell.” – – KIA Media
I wouldn’t dismiss the rearward-opening back doors on the KIA CUB Concept as concept-car-folly, Hyundai/KIA has a habit of producing things that others will not. Take the third door on the Hyundai Veloster as an example. It’s quite possible that, if the KIA CUB Concept becomes reality, you may be looking at a close approximation in these photos.
KIA says they have no plans to put the KIA CUB Concept into production, but you never know. Positive feedback from enough viewers and perspective buyers could sway KIA to build the CUB. I think it would be a swell idea – as long as they keep the attitude and power from this model.
Check out this fun KIA video as we pit a KIA Sportage against a Hyundai Santa Fe!
KIA and Hyundai are both on fire with slick designs and smart product development. I hope they turn the KIA CUB Concept into reality. What do you think?