Kia KV7 concept revealed at 2011 Detroit Auto Show

Tuesday, January 11, 2011, 12:21 by Auto Correspondent

Kia Motors has unveiled the KV7 Concept at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.

The Kia KV7 is shorter than the Ford Flex, however stands on a 4.1 inches longer wheelbase. The minivan concept flaunts pod like swivel chairs for all occupants, upright windshield and Kia’s signature tiger grille with vertically slit headlamps adding sharpness to the boxy design which must have been inspired from the Kia Soul.

kia kv7 concept photo

Photo: Kia KV7 Concept

The doors of the KV7 concept are gullwing type opening upwards (Like in the Mercedes Benz SLS-AMG Coupe). The interiors of the concept minivan has wood floor and rear quarters are set up in a lounge fashion.

kia kv7 features gullwing doors photo

Photo: Kia KV7 Features Gullwing doors

The Kia KV7 concept is powered by Hyundai/Kia’s Theta II direct-injection, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine producing 285 hp and mated to a 6 speed automatic. The KV7 production version will likely replace the Sedona minivan. Expect the KV7 to drop the gullwing doors, swiveling seats & hardwood floor when it reaches the dealerships.

In December 2010, Kia released some design sketches of the next generation Kia Picanto to keep us waiting for the release of their new small car, set for debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.

The A-segment car is known as the Kia Morning in the South Korean market and the Picanto in export markets, including much of Europe.

kia kv7 interior photo

Photo: Kia KV7 Interior

The new Kia Picanto seems to have received a boost of testosterone over its predecessor, with a much more evident masculine appearance which has been helped further by a “tiger nose” grille design. The features in the sketches released show alloy wheels with low-profile tires wrapped around them. As for the interior, all that the automaker disclosed was that it was “good looking and funky”.

From its overall appearance and design, the Picanto seems a rival for equally small Toyota iQ. Earlier spyshots of the near production models had revealed a more conventional hatchback design for a four-seater layout. It was also speculated that the new Picanto will have the same dimensions as the older model but the exterior was expected to borrow some cues from the Kia Venga, which meant it would be sportier.

Pricing was not announced, but the current Picanto is priced starting at about $11,000 in Europe, so don’t expect it to be any cheaper. The car is set to debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.