European operations chief Emilio Herrera told Automotive News in an interview that a production version of the crossover should arrive in 2021. He didn’t say how the street-going car would differ, although we’d expect it to be wildly toned down compared to the version that debuted in Geneva. Those 21 displays, the aircraft-style steering column, and giant wheels likely aren’t long for this world.
The Korean automaker is also poised to roll out an EV-only architecture it’ll share with its sibling brand Hyundai. That should deliver faster and longer-ranged cars than existing models like the Niro EV and Soul EV. In the interview, Herrera mentioned that Kia would have a hydrogen fuel cell car by late 2020 or early 2021.
Whether or not the Imagine comes stateside isn’t certain. It’s characterized as a “large C-segment car” (think Volkswagen Golf), and that may be a tougher sell in an SUV- and truck-oriented market like the US. Kia will want to electrify more of its lineup to meet emissions targets, though, so it’s hard to completely rule out an American launch.
Imagine by Kia is the company’s first EV concept, so it went all-in on the marketing-speak, too. “There’s a great sense of tension and purity in the car’s tautly-drawn sheet metal and the crisp shoulder-line crease that runs around the entire car,” said Kia design VP Gregory Guillaume. ” I wanted to introduce an element to create a rippling effect in the metal, much like the shockwaves you would see if you threw a stone into a perfectly still mountain lake.”
It would be easy to dismiss that as so much gobbledygook, but so far Kia has more or less walked its talk when it comes to EVs. We were quite impressed by its all-new Niro EV, calling it an “electric crossover for the people” thanks to its 384-km range and zippy performance. If the Imagine by Kia is anything to go by, it’s next-gen of EVs will look sharper too, but hopefully, Kia will use just a couple of displays.