Kia KV7 Concept
11th January, 2011
- Concept car with gullwing door, tabletop computer and lounge-like seating debuts at 2011 Detroit
- Kia’s Southern California design team builds on the Soul’s philosophy of “embracing the box”
- KV7 delivers maximum functionality and brings SUV-like qualities to the van segment
In the tradition of Soul, Koup, Sorento and Sportage, Kia’s design-led transformation has
delivered the latest eye-catching concept with the KV7, unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show in the
Kia has a strong history of taking concept to production with minimum change and the KV7, out of
the Kia US Design Studio in California, is the latest in a recent line of trendy concepts.
Conceived as a modern-day “activity van,” the Kia KV7 concept challenges the notion that vans
are strictly for family transportation and reveals a vision for a vehicle with the functionality to
transport a large number of people and their belongings while also serving as a 'connected' social
hub for groups of friends and adventure-seekers.
The KV7 concept’s design stands in sharp contrast to the dramatically raked windshields and
wedge-shaped noses found throughout the van segment, and builds on the philosophy of “embracing the
box” established by Kia’s youthful Soul urban passenger vehicle to provide a unique and alluring
design language that brings SUV-like qualities to the segment.
“From the outset, we felt the category was in need of an honest reassessment due to the fact
that everyone seems so desperate to attach the word ‘sporty’ to their minivan, even though vans, at
their very core are simply a box,” said Tom Kearns, Chief Designer, Kia Motors America.
“Rather than reject the box we chose to celebrate it, just like we did with the Soul, and the
result is a straightforward yet sophisticated vehicle that retains the functionality vans are known
for and meets the changing and diverse needs of today’s consumers.”
Modern, Confident Exterior
Kia Motors’ design-led transformation has infused emotion and passion into the brand’s line-up
of new and recently introduced vehicles. Inspiration for the KV7 concept was found in the
simplicity of elegant box shapes such as sleek smart phones and classic pieces of luggage. The
KV7’s wide stance is paired with an A-pillar and windshield design that is less vertical than
traditional mini-vans. It’s smooth exterior skin and 20-inch wheels exude a modern appearance while
projecting the confidence and strength of an SUV.
The KV7 concept’s most striking feature is its passenger-side gullwing door, which provides a
massive point-of-entry to the lounge-like interior when opened in conjunction with the pillar-less
front passenger door.
The KV7 concept’s inviting face is highlighted by an interpretation of Kia’s signature bold
tabbed grille with vertical LED headlamps integrated within the design to provide a clean, smooth
look. The KV7 features several LED lighting elements that Kia’s design team is evaluating for
future production vehicles, including a continuous line of LED fog lights that span the entire
front end of the vehicle and directional turn indicators on the outside mirrors and the rear of
the vehicle that pulse in the direction being signaled.
The KV7 concept’s distinctive windshield follows the unique designs found on the new Sportage
SUV and Optima mid-size sedan. A series of near-continuous windows starting at the A-pillar provide
uninterrupted views for a day at the beach or a night out on the town. Despite its non-traditional
look, the KV7’s length (4,873 mm), width (2,033) and wheelbase (3,100) are consistent with the van
segment allowing for flexible seating configurations and a multitude of storage options.
Open, Relaxed Interior
In the process of rethinking what a van’s exterior appearance and image could be, Kia’s
Southern California design team also envisioned an interior to meet the needs of an entirely new
group of consumers – a group of people referred to as “Ringleaders.” Rather than using a van to
transport children and their accompaniments, Ringleaders are busy organising road trips, social
outings and new adventures for themselves and their friends to experience together.
As such, the KV7 concept’s interior employs four custom-built swiveling seats, including the
driver’s seat, and a rear-corner mini-lounge with seating for three and integrated storage
compartments to promote interaction in an open social environment.
The simple yet sophisticated theme is brought to life inside the Kia KV7 concept through its
modern colour palette featuring soft beige and green tones and the use of unique seat and surface
materials. The KV7 utilises a variety of unconventional textures, including reclaimed teak wood
flooring and sustainable wool and felt materials help to foster a warm and inviting atmosphere.
When the KV7 concept’s push button start is engaged, the entire front dash moves more than 150
mm toward the driver, bringing all controls within easy reach, including the large multi-use
display which integrates infotainment, climate and navigation systems in one simple-to-use
interface controlled by a trackball mouse mounted in the dash.
Rear passengers have their own, separate interface in the form of a floating tabletop
touch-screen computer display. The KV7 is Wi-Fi enabled, providing both the front and rear
displays with Internet capabilities and the ability for multiple passengers to connect their
smart phones to the vehicle at one time and sign on to social networking websites.
Building on the experimental use of LED lighting elements found on the exterior, the KV7’s
concept’s interior also features multiple flush-to-the-floor accent illumination points and
standout green LED lighting throughout the front dash, instrument panel and rear display area
to compliment the vehicle’s colour palette.
The final element that separates the Kia KV7 concept from the rest of the mini-van 'crowd'
can be found under the bonnet – the concept is powered by Kia’s new Theta II 2.0-litre GDI
turbocharged engine which is capable of delivering up to 213 kW, and is matched to a six-speed
automatic transmission to deliver V6-type power and performance while achieving better than
7.8 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway (estimate only).
Kia KV7 Concept Specifications & Features
Length: 4,873 mm (191.85 in.)
Width: 2,033 mm (80.0 in.)
Height: 1,729 mm (68.1 in.)
Wheelbase: 3,100 mm (122.0 in.)
Wheels & Tyres
- Wide stance, smooth exterior skin and 20-inch wheels
- A-pillar and windshield design that is less vertical than traditional mini-vans
- Passenger-side gullwing door which creates a massive point-of-entry to when opened in
conjunction with the pillar-less front passenger door
- A continuous line of LED fog lights that span the entire front end of the vehicle
- LED Directional turn indicators on the outside mirrors and the rear of the vehicle
that pulse in the direction being signalled
- Interpretation of Kia’s signature bold tabbed grille with vertical LED headlamps
integrated within the design
- A distinctive windshield and series of near-continuous windows starting at the
A-pillar for maximum visibility
- Four custom-built swivelling seats, including the driver’s seat
- Rear-corner mini-lounge with seating for three
- Integrated storage compartments
- Modern colour palette featuring soft beige and green tones
- Unique seat and surface materials
- Variety of unconventional textures, including reclaimed teak wood flooring and
sustainable wool and felt materials
- Front dash moves more than six inches toward the driver when push button start
- Large multi-use display which integrates infotainment, climate and navigation
systems in one simple-to-use interface controlled by a trackball mouse mounted in
- Rear floating tabletop touch-screen computer display
- Wi-Fi enabled cabin
- Ability for multiple passengers to connect their smart phones simultaneously
- Multiple flush-to-the-floor accent illumination points and standout green LED
lighting throughout the front dash, instrument panel and rear display area
- New Theta II 2.0-litre GDI turbocharged engine
- Up to 213 kW
- Six-speed automatic transmission
- V6-type power and performance while maximizing fuel efficiency