CHICAGO, IL – Blurring the line between Kia’s GT concept and a luxury CUV, Kia Motors America today slipped the silk off the Cross GT concept at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show. Purely conceptual, the Cross GT reveals Kia’s intentions to potentially offer a larger premium CUV than the current Sorento.
“The debut of the GT in 2011 heralded a new frontier for Kia, both from a design and a business perspective,” noted Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors Corporation president and global chief of design. “It beautifully illustrated to the world that the brand was ready to explore the possibility of perhaps one day offering a full-size rear-drive luxury saloon. The Cross GT, with its raised stance and large cargo area, allows us to envision the GT in the form of a full-size luxury crossover.”
While the GT’s lines were penned in Frankfurt, Germany, the Cross GT hails from Kia Design Center America in Irvine, Calif., the house that breathed life into the Track’ster, KV7 and Soul’ster concepts, and most recently the all-new production 2014 Forte sedan. Based on the GT chassis, the Cross GT’s proportions are similar to its rear-drive stablemate with short overhangs, a long wheelbase and an aggressively wide posture. But the Cross GT offers even greater visibility thanks to its taller stature and features all-wheel drive for improved performance and all-weather capability.
The Cross GT is powered by a hybrid powertrain utilizing a 3.8-liter V6 hybrid, 8-speed automatic and torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive, the Cross-GT’s powertrain. Backing the V6 is an evolution of Kia’s parallel hybrid system, a pancake-shaped electric motor sandwiched between the V6 and transmission. The electric motor is neatly packaged under the rear floor. Combined, the V6 and electric motor produce 500 lb.-ft. of torque and 400 horsepower, with an all-electric range of 20-miles – sufficient to enable exhilarating performance, while delivering superior fuel economy and fuel efficiency.
While strictly a concept powertrain, Kia’s hybrid technology, combined with all-wheel drive are thought-provoking ideas that may one day find their way into a production vehicle.