Kia showcases provo hot hatch concept
By C.C. Weiss
March 11, 2013
A concept clearly aimed at a young, urban demographic, the all-new Kia provo concept is a small, sporty, three-door hatchback with eye-diverting looks and a focus on technology. Designed at Kia's European styling center in Frankfurt, Germany, the colorful provo concept looks as ready for SEMA as the Geneva Motor Show, where it was unveiled last week.
The near-vertical surfaces of the front and rear ends of the concept include aerodynamic components like a front splitter, carbon fiber panels and a rear splitter with adjustable vent system. Between the front and rear walls, Kia implements a wraparound glasshouse capped with a clamshell-style roof. The C pillars rise up and create a contrasting, roll bar-style strip across the roof.
The provo's headlamps feature more than 850 LED lights, which can be programmed into daytime running lights, full beams, race set-up and decorative designs. The triangular lamps are connected by a thin, smug upper grille.
The paint plays as much a role in the provo's looks as its exterior design and equipment. The rather forgettable "Storm Metal" gray is brought to life by contrasting blood-orange highlights. The roof, front splitter and center nuts on the 19-inch milled alloy wheels all stand out against the gray body.
Behind its flat face, the provo provides domicile to a 201-hp 1.6-liter turbo engine, which Motor Trend confirms is the same engine used in the provo's Hyundai Veloster cousin, and a seven-speed DCT transmission. The engine gets help from a rear-connected electric motor that provides a burst of up to 44 hp for cornering and acceleration. The Smart 4WD Hybrid design allows for all-electric driving at low speeds and gets its power from regenerative braking.
When the driver opens up the door, the provo reveals a two-step polished aluminum sill that extends from the aluminum panels outside. A simple but purposeful interior houses a programmable digital display and gauges set into a carbon fiber dashboard. A control panel on the central tunnel houses the start/stop button, transmission drive selector and multimedia interface controls.
In contrast to the clear separation between driver and passenger seen on recent designs from the likes of Jaguar and Alfa Romeo, Kia implements a more inclusive interior with "wave-like" quilted leather bench seating. The front seat backs rotate to the center, instead of a more traditional folding action, allowing rear passenger entry. Kia refers to the rear seats as "admittedly occasional-use," which we translate into "not suitable for anyone that's entered puberty." Like the Ferrari LaFerrari, the provo relies on adjustable pedals and steering wheel to assist the fixed driver's seat in fitting itself to the driver.
Although just a concept, Kia says, "Whilst no specific production schedule for provo is on the calendar, the arrival later this summer of the new Kia pro_cee’d GT makes it clear that the company remains committed to delivering desirable, dynamic and stunningly attractive vehicles that will deliver affordable enjoyment to real, everyday motorists. The provo could be just such a car."