This is the new Kia Futuron Concept, an all-wheel drive SUV coupe electric vehicle. It is designed, no pun intended, to showcase future Kia form factors. The Futuron name itself is a portmanteau of ‘future’ and ‘on’, hinting at the switched-on, electric nature of future SUV designs from the brand. However, it is unlikely you will ever see such a vehicle in the future or in the far distant future. Concepts are cool but at the end of the day they also serve as publicity stunts… anyway…
The Kia Futuron Concept is built around a lightweight SUV architecture. The coupe body incorporates a fully-electric all-wheel drive powertrain. A high-capacity battery is mounted low in the vehicle’s body, beneath the cabin floor, providing electrical energy to four powerful in-wheel electric motors.
The elevated stance of the car is therefore matched with a low centre of gravity and a cutting-edge e-AWD system.
The Futuron’s low-profile SUV coupe body is intended to chart a path for the future look of Kia’s exterior design language. In this case its a sports car on an SUV platform, combined with comfortable, lean-back seats. The Futuron offers users a new type of interactive driving experience suitable for urban city environments.
The concept’s roof is a diamond-shaped panoramic glasshouse which sits atop the 360-degree core. While flooding the cabin with natural light, it also extends down the bonnet to give drivers an unparalleled view ahead.
The glasshouse also incorporates a network of LiDAR (light detection and ranging) sensors capable of providing Level 4 autonomous driving features, enabling hands-off and eyes-off driving in most conditions.
The layout of the electric powertrain and incorporation of Level 4 autonomous driving systems has enabled the creation of a spacious and flexible cabin. The two front seats are created out of flexible materials and can offer an upright ‘driving’ position, or a reclined ‘rest’ position, similar to the flexibility afforded to first-class airline passengers.
One of the most prominent features of the cabin is the ‘cockpit’ area surrounding the driver. The graphical user interface (GUI) of the cockpit flows out of the driver-side door and wraps around the steering wheel in a seamless arc.
The GUI is operated by artificial intelligence technologies, displaying useful information about the car various autonomous driving, powertrain and navigation features to create a unique user experience.
The Futuron makes its public debut today at the 2019 China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, where it will be on display to the public until 10 November.