The term “four-door coupe” made nearly as much sense at its inception as champagne made from grapes harvested in the Midwest (champagne only comes from France), so Kia’s rather liberal definition with the Kia Cub shouldn’t detract too much from its overall purpose. Anyhow, the four-door
coupe hatchback Kia Cub is the automaker’s latest concept car, launching this week at the Seoul Motor Show concurrently with the New York Auto Show. To be honest, it looks a bit like the 2011 Kia GT concept mixed with the not-for-the-U.S. Audi A1, which isn’t a huge surprise since Kia’s design chief Peter Schreyer likely worked on that before his departure in the mid-2000s.
Kia says that despite its 13-foot length, the Cub has rear-opening doors in back to assist with “limo-like” accommodations. Rear seats are separated from one another to aid the feeling of exclusivity, while the cabin’s overall look is minimalistic and sporty. The Kia Cub concept sits on 19-inch wheels, has LED headlights, and Kia says its shape is designed especially to thwart wind noise, which, you know, is completely unacceptable in a limousine.
Power comes by way of the ever increasingly ubiquitous turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine found under the hood of the Hyundai Veloster Turbo and 2014 Kia Forte SX that produces 204 horsepower. Kia says it has designed the car for young urban dwellers, which makes sense in being as small as it is. Seoul is a jam-packed city, like New York City but far cleaner.
Kia says it has no plans to put this Korean-designed Cub into production, but we wouldn’t be surprised if some of its cues find their way to other models over the next few years. With three new Kia vehicles launching at the New York Auto Show to complement the already new Forte, Sorento, and Cadenza, suddenly the subcompact Kia Rio, introduced for 2012, has become one of the oldest vehicles in the automaker’s lineup.