January 8, 2003

Kia KCD-1 Slice crossover is also sporty

Detroit, Michigan – Kia says its new KCD-1 Slice is designed for the driver seeking passenger and cargo-hauling versatility without sacrificing driving enjoyment.

Kia Slice
Click image to enlarge

Kia Slice
“This vehicle is designed to pick up lumber from the home center one day and to have fun on twisty roads the next,” said Eric Stoddard, the Hyundai-Kia Design Center designer responsible for the vehicle’s exterior. “We gave it all the cargo-carrying versatility of an SUV without the handling and fuel consumption penalties.”

While some early crossover designs sacrificed either attractive styling or load-carrying ability, the KCD-1 Slice does neither, said Stoddard. The vehicle seats up to six adults, and has flexible seats which fold to offer cargo space or recline to give comfort. At the same time, the vehicle’s V-6 powertrain and aggressively tuned suspension will deliver the kind of performance in either front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive configurations “that most SUV buyers can only dream about”.

At 112 inches, the KCD-1 Slice’s wheelbase is almost six inches longer than the Kia Optima chassis on which it is based, but its overall length, at 177 inches, is more than eight inches shorter. With its big wheels pulled out to the corners aggressively, the concept gives the visual impression of being smaller than it is. Actually, with an overall width of 72 inches and an overall height of 63 inches, the vehicle is very commodious inside.

One of the key design elements in the KCD-1 Slice concept is its wide, pillar-less door openings. All doors are solenoid-operated, allowing for small, well-detailed pushbutton door openers in the window frames. The front doors are conventionally hinged, while the rear doors are hinged at the rear to provide a huge entryway into the vehicle.

No production plans have been announced for the Slice, but it will travel to a number of North American and international auto shows in the months ahead to test public reaction to its design.

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