Kia has introduced the Provo 'urban racer' concept at the Geneva Motor Show. The four-wheel-drive hatchback is expected to compete with the Mini and is based on a shortened Kia Rio platform. It has a length of 3.88m and a height of 1.35m and comes with a strictly 2+2 cabin layout. This concept is the creation of chief designer Gregory Guillaume and the rest of Kia's Frankfurt-based design team.
Guillaume reports to Hyundai-Kia design boss Peter Schreyer. The Provo is described by Guillaume to be a car that’s meant to suit European tastes and requirements. He added that this is an “emotional and muscular car” that’s targeted at offering “pure fun and performance for today's city-based enthusiast driver.”
The Provo features frameless doors, a wrap-around windscreen, prominent bumper inserts and a set of 19-inch milled aluminium wheels. Kia designers said that they took inspiration from the road car-based budget competition machines like the Fiat 500 Abarth, Alfa GT Junior and obscurities (including the Innocenti Mini De Tomaso). So that the cockpit feels roomier, the conventional centre console has been removed.
There is a neat aluminium mount installed to accommodate the transmission selector and starter button. In addition, the driver makes use of column-mounted paddle shifters. In addition, the instruments and climate controls are animated on LCD screens.
Kia's designers also looked at 1950s race cars as their inspiration. They used quilted leather covering across the seats and centre tunnel. The car's front wheels are powered by a 201bhp 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine, which drives via a seven-speed DSG 'box. Meanwhile, a 44bhp electric motor drives the rear axle.
Kia Provo Concept has been described as a car that’s been built to cater to the preferences and requirements of the European market. It’s hard to argue with this contention judging by the outstanding look and features of the Provo Concept.
The beauty of the Provo Concept starts upon opening the car. The two side doors are composed of the Storm Metal body coloured neoprene-covered inner section, an inner panel made from carbon fibre, and an outer panel. The doors, which can be opened by flush fitting push-up electronic handles, facilitates entry and exit as it features a high-level two-step sill that is extended by external sculpted flanks.
Provo Concept’s sculpted flanks are further pronounced in the car’s dashboard. Born out of a single expanse carbon fibre, the dashboard has on digital display large analogue dials accompanied by minor gauges in a smaller central display. The dashboard also features two control hubs in the seven-speed DCT transmission drive selector and engine stop-start button plus the Multi-Media Interface control. The digital technology allows flexibility in programming any of the wide selection of functions in the dashboard. In addition, the footwells are kept clear and only have the pedals and the aluminum-polished footrests.