Kia is turning its electric future-on with the Futuron
An amalgamation of “Future” and “on”, the Kia Futuron promises explicitly to lead the way forward for Kia. Revealed at the 2019 China International Expo, the Futuron is a sleek and streamlined SUV coupe. Kia has designed this concept to showcase possible designs for its future electric vehicles.
Kia’s step into the future with the Futuron
An all-electric car, the Futuron is driven by four in-wheel electric motors. Claimed to be a sports car on an SUV platform, the center of gravity is low thanks to the batteries that are mounted under the floorboard. Kia says that the E-AWD (all-wheel drive) system ensures that the vehicle is responsive and “lightning-quick”. The Futuron is also a Level 4 autonomous vehicle, meaning that the car is designed to handle hands-off and eyes-shut autonomous driving. When switched on, the steering wheel retracts and the front seats recline to allow the passengers to relax while the Lidar based autonomous system takes over.
Packing a plethora of futuristic elements
Kia says that the aesthetic design of the Futuron is meant to emulate UFO and flying saucer designs. This is evident in the diamond shape panoramic sunroof sitting atop the SUV, resulting in a transparent glass bubble that envelope the passengers. At 3000mm, the wheelbase of the Futuron is just shy of the 3075mm of the Mercedes GLS which speaks loads about how massive yet compact the Futuron is. The concept also marks Kia’s transition from its iconic “tiger nose” grille to a more pronounced “tiger face” front. In an attempt to retain the sleek and streamline design of the vehicle, it does away with all badging and ornaments on the car using LED branding instead. The Futuron also gets dragon skin inspired active body panes over the lighting surfaces, like the front and rear, that help modulate the intensity of light coming out.
This theme is also carried into the cabin where the dragon scale air vents enclose the air-con system and the internal lighting is designed to highlight the dragon skin-like upholstery and shapes within the cabin.
The Futuron is not going into production anytime soon. It is, instead, an experiment in which direction Kia’s design could head in the future, along with elements that are a departure from traditional cars as we know them.
Words by Yash Samant