Kia Motors America introduced the Cross GT concept at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show. This is a combination of Kia’s striking GT concept and a luxury crossover vehicle. The Cross GT has a stylish but robust stance, in line with Kia’s reputation for producing world-class designs. The Cross GT combines high technology and nature, building a pleasant and seamless partnership between driver and vehicle that is respectful to its global environment too.
The Cross GT is purely conceptual. It is indicative of Kia’s goals to possibly offer a bigger premium SUV than the existing Sorento in several markets. The GT was designed in Frankfurt, Germany, but the Cross GT originates from Kia Design Center America (KDCA) in Irvine, California. This is the design house that developed the Track’ster, KV7 and Soul’ster concepts. The latest model that it conceptualized is the all-new production 2014 Forte saloon, which is Kia’s C-segment model outside of Europe. The Cross GT is based on the GT chassis.
This means that its measurements are comparable to the rear-wheel-drive model within the same lineup. It also gets short overhangs, a long wheelbase and a very wide posture. However, the Cross GT provides even more visibility because it’s taller and it has all-wheel drive for increased performance and all-weather capability. The Cross GT takes inspiration from nature and is boosted by technology. It also gets a stunning Fusion Copper finish.
It is equipped with an efficient hybrid powertrain that lowers the carbon footprint of the vehicle while offering the incredible performance that’s expected to come from a big luxury crossover. The powertrain of the Cross GT is a match to the sophisticated exterior and interior designs.
It comes with a very advanced 3.8-litre V6 hybrid, 8-speed automatic and torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive. Instead of the V6, the model uses an evolution of Kia’s parallel hybrid system, which is a pancake-shaped electric motor that is slotted between the V6 and transmission. When combined, the V6 and electric motor deliver 500 lb/ft of torque and 400hp. It offers a 20-mile all-electric range, enough to enable excellent performance, while offering superior fuel economy and fuel efficiency.
The modern appearance of new Cross GT Concept is further emphasized by the so-called "suicide" doors. These dual rear-hinged doors allow passengers to easily enter the rear cabin – made from premium materials -- and access the rear bucket seats. Occupants could access the cargo compartment through a "clam shell" that combines a traditional glass hatch and a tailgate.
Flanking the Cross GT Concept’s signature Kia grille are headlight units that employ light emitting diode technology. The Cross GT also features multi-paneled sky light with hexagonal glass inserts, thereby allowing natural light to enter the cabin while making the interior seem more spacious.
Meanwhile, the interior of the new Kia Cross GT Concept conveys contemporary luxury, as exemplified by its four Almond-Terra-colored leather-covered bucket seats. Seemingly floating within the cabin, these seats -- inspired by fine equestrian saddles -- are secured to the central tunnel. These bucket seats feature contrasting stitching and were tanned with vegetable oil using no chemicals but only natural dyes. Interestingly, the sweeping instrument panel makes use of re-harvested American Walnut while the interior employs eco-friendly renewable wool.
The Cross GT Concept is provided with a touchscreen and central mouse control technology that allows drivers to control certain functions like telematics, entertainment and HVAC while still keeping their hands on the steering wheel. Flat panel screens mounted to the headrests of the front seats allow rear passengers to access the Internet and infotainment options. Convenience elements include a large storage compartment incorporated beneath the load floor behind the rear seats.
Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing and communications at KMA, remarked that Kia customers are now looking to the brand to offer relevant premium vehicles that offer new levels of sophistication.