Kia Teases New AWD Concept Ready for 2015 Chicago Auto Show

Kia has a surprise for the upcoming 2015 Chicago Auto Show. They announced that they’re going to introduce a concept vehicle this February, but they haven’t said anything specific about it.

They said that the all-new concept origins from their design studio in California and hinted that the new model has off-road capabilities. They also said that this concept “re-imagines one of the brand’s most popular vehicles”.

Judging by the teaser photo, the new concept is probably the Kia Soul in an off-road incarnation. It has the recognizable front end, although the grille and a number of other details aren’t exactly the same.

Soul Concept e-AWD CUV 2015 Chicago Auto Show

Teaser photo

However, the concept shown at the teaser image doesn’t have just subtle styling cues here and there. If you take a look at the headlight and the shape of the front end, angle of the hood and the general style, it’s clear that this crossover has something to do with the Soul.

They might call it otherwise. We could be wrong and this might be a completely different vehicle that just borrowed the Soul’s style, but that doesn’t have much sense.

The new off-road concept probably won’t be a crossover in a conventional way. We expect it to be a handsome urban CUV which could be seen off the road, but its natural habitat would still be on the safety of tarmacked roads.

In the press release announcing the concept’s premiere the automaker said:

Built for city dwellers seeking an adventurous escape and intended to enable a variety outdoor activities, this concept proves that practical urban wheels can also be rugged and capable.

And in the end, it all comes to the concept’s off-road abilities. The concept has e-AWD (electric all-wheel drive) and probably very advanced technology.

If they manage to offer a production CUV, a small crossover, or whatever we agree to call it, with all-wheel drive and off-road specs good enough to impress the majority of the target audience, this vehicle (probably Kia Soul CUV) might be a game changes within the market niche.

It should be noted that this particular market segment is growing and that it will be cluttered with various models and various brands very soon. It’s important for the automakers to fight for their starting positions now and Kia, obviously, took that challenge very seriously.

They’re going to unveil it on February 12th at the Chicago Auto Show, but they will reveal the name and publish some more teaser images tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Photos: Kia Motors America

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