Kia Naimo Electric Concept
1st April, 2011
- Striking all-electric concept car makes world debut at Seoul Motor Show
- Kia Naimo expresses sophistication through simplicity of design
- B-segment electric utility vehicle combines Korean heritage with high-tech innovations
Making its world premiere at the 2011 Seoul Motor Show yesterday (Thursday 31st March), the
Kia Naimo electric concept car combines Korean heritage with innovative modern features.
Taking its name from the Korean word “Ne-mo”, (pronounced ‘Neh-mo’, meaning ‘square shape’),
the Naimo electric cross-over utility vehicle (CUV) was planned by Kia’s international design team in
Seoul, and is characterised principally by its simple lines and 'muscular' stance.
The uncomplicated overall design is accentuated by a number of striking key details, such as the
wraparound windscreen and asymmetric sunroof design, and the front and rear dot-style LED head- and
positioning-lamps. This juxtaposition of simple and complex is a common trait of many traditional
Korean arts and crafts. Asian Celadon-style pottery, in particular, was a major influence on the car’s
styling – with the pottery’s asymmetric form lending itself to the sunroof design, and the typical
jade colouring giving Naimo its unique exterior finish.
Kia’s design team also made use of innovative technology features to give the car a premium feel
and to ensure the car’s exterior remained uncluttered. For example, Naimo has no traditional wiper
blade on the windscreen – instead it employs a high-intensity air jet at the base of the windscreen
that performs an ‘air wiper’ function. Conventional door mirrors have also been replaced with
miniature cameras installed in the A-pillars.
Naimo’s interior was designed to evoke a strong sense of tranquility and features hand-crafted
materials throughout. Korean oak is used to trim the interior door panels and the entire interior
floor, Korean “Han-ji” paper is used for the head lining. Alongside these traditional elements
sit modern features such as a TOLED (transparent organic light emitting diode) storming display
instrument panel and full device connectivity.
“Naimo is a perfect balance of innovation, high-tech and Korean tradition. It was heavily
inspired by the purity and grace of traditional Korean arts and crafts, but combines this with
cutting edge technologies to deliver a truly premium experience,” comments Kia Motors’ Chief
Design Officer, Peter Schreyer.
The third electric vehicle design to be unveiled by Kia Motors Corporation in a year, the 3.9-metre
long Naimo concept explores the practicalities of introducing a zero-emissions, five-door, four-seater
city car into a future niche market.
Measuring 3,890 mm in length, the Naimo’s generous wheelbase, width and height (2,647, 1,844 and
1,589 mm respectively) – plus the short overhangs which place a wheel at each corner – ensure that the
cabin provides exceptional head, leg and shoulder room for the occupants.
The concept car has no B-pillars and features rear-hinged rear doors to maximise easy access to the
cabin, and a three-way split opening boot, allowing versatile access to the load bay for varying
Power comes from a PMSM (Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor) electric motor with a maximum output
of 80 kW and maximum torque of 280 Nm, enabling Naimo to reach a top speed of 150 km/h.
A twin-pack 27kWh battery is located under the boot floor and uses innovative LiPoly (Lithium Ion
Polymer) technology that offers numerous advantages over other battery types. Equipped with this
battery, Naimo provides a driving range of 200 km on a single charge. To enhance range, the showcar
is fitted with special low-drag 20-inch diameter alloy wheels.
Under the quick recharging cycle (50kW) the Naimo’s battery can be recharged to 80 per cent of its
capacity within 25 minutes. Under the normal cycle (3.3kW), 100 per cent power is attained after five
and a half hours.
Naimo will join Kia’s growing test fleet of hybrid, electric and fuel-cell vehicles being
extensively driven in widely varying conditions to develop future production models with zero
or significantly reduced emissions.
Venga and POP pointed the electric way ahead
Also making their presence felt on Kia’s Seoul Motor Show stand will be the Venga and POP
electric concepts unveiled by Kia last year at major motor shows in Europe – the Venga at
Geneva and the POP at Paris.
The Venga EV concept car was the same size as Kia’s regular B-segment MPV and feature an
electric powertrain placed within the existing engine bay and a twin-pack 24kWh battery
located under the boot floor.
Unconventional features of the POP – its side-window design, dot-pattern head and
taillights, back-lit front grille, full-length glass roof, and simplistic looking wheels –
all point to inspiration from outside the usual automotive spheres, such as gliders and
Inside, the purple colour scheme provides a calm and peaceful environment within the
space-ship like three-seater cabin. Behind the front bench seat, the single rear seat is
positioned at an offset angle, resulting in remarkable legroom for a 1,740 mm wide car with
a wheelbase of just 2,055 mm.