An unlikely contender may help usher in the new generation of luxury crossovers, as the Kia Cross GT Concept made its official debut at the Chicago Auto Show this week.
The automaker has made it clear that this is strictly a concept for the moment, but there are plenty of encouraging aspects about the Kia Cross GT concept that could eventually make their way into production cars.
First and foremost, the very theme of the car should be considered for the assembly line. In the Cross GT, Kia has created a luxury crossover that would be affordable, attractive and sporty with plenty of utility capabilities. If brought to production, the Kia Cross GT could fulfill all of the qualities that customers look for in a crossover, with added benefits as well. Few crossovers have looked as comfortable in their own skin as the Cross GT does, and it’s encouraging for the future of the segment.
Also encouraging is the powertrain that Kia has fitted to its newest toy. The Cross GT sports a 3.8L hybrid V6 engine, fitted to an eight-speed automatic transmission and driven by all-wheel drive with torque vectoring. Combined, the hybrid engine and electric motor will produce 400 horsepower and 500 lb.-ft of torque. Kia worked a pancake-shaped electric motor between the engine and transmission, allowing the Cross GT to be driven up to 20 miles on all-electric power alone.
Again, it’s just a concept, but based on those specs, the Kia Cross GT could be fun to drive and capable on its feet while remaining environmentally-friendly for its size. Don’t expect to see rear-hinged suicide doors on a production model anytime soon, but other Cross GT features could well find their way into Kia production cars. The automaker shied away from saying they will build it, but admits they would like to eventually build “a larger premium CUV than the current Sorento.”
The Cross GT would be a great place to start.