Concept Car, 4x4, Autonomous, Motorshow, News, SUV

Kia debuts four concept cars at SEMA

Four all-new customised Kia vehicles have been unveiled at the opening of the 2016 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show.

Envisioning a future when vehicles will not only drive autonomously but be tailor-built to our lifestyles, each concept hints at what the future may hold.

Also making its SEMA debut is the Telluride full-size hybrid SUV concept that was first unveiled earlier this year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. 

The Niro Triathlon offers refuge for those training hard for an event, with a cabin designed to relax and recharge it also provides 'top-notch' training and safety equipment. The 2017 Niro hybrid has been transformed into a true crossover-utility lifestyle vehicle. Removal of the roof from the D-pillars back creates a small bed and allows for the custom bike rack, tool box and tablet computer mount. A tablet can also be attached inside the vehicle for entertainment or performance analysis while the Niro drives the athletes' village or to the next competition. The Niro Triathlete runs on lowered suspension and lightweight 18-inch Method Rally Race wheels.

A ‘School of Rock’ Sedona is an autonomous Kia which imagines a world when vehicles will someday autonomously transport our young ones to accommodate their busy lives. Partnering with School of Rock, the leader in performance-based music education, has resulted in the Sedona becoming a rolling recording studio - featuring everything aspiring musicians need: a studio, a place to chill and a completely hands-free way of transporting the band to the next gig.

The hand-painted School of Rock concept features significant enhancements including the removal of the driver-side B-pillar, steering assembly and gear selector. This makes room for a digital mixing board and dual flat-screen monitors to record tracks. Front-mounted near-field speakers pump out the tunes and when a track is being laid down, a recording light mounted to the roof illuminates. Vocalists will appreciate the microphone that hangs from the ceiling. Sound-studio-quality acoustic foam panels line the interior to reduce exterior noise. Should the band decide to host an impromptu roadside show, the Sedona’s tail gate flips open to reveal a stack of amps. There is also storage on the roof for guitars, bass guitars and other instruments. While no modifications were made to the suspension, the School of Rock Sedona rides on flat-black painted 20-inch Vossen VFS-6 wheels.

A Sorento ‘Ski Gondola’ takes the idea of a sport-utility vehicle to new heights – literally and figuratively – the custom Kia Sorento was built to tackle snow and ice as it gets you and your fellow skiers up to the top of the mountain. The ‘luxurious and self-driving’ Ski Gondola concept is fitted with ‘Dominator Rubber Tracks’ in place of wheels - a custom metal roof rack for ample storage for skis and poles, while the cargo area provides abundant space for boots, bags and other gear. This is all easily accessible thanks to the removal of the B pillar and the rear doors being converted to rear access doors. Up front, the Sorento’s headlights are painted black, silver and orange and extra LED light bars were installed for increased visibility in all conditions. The interior has been upgraded, and features black and orange leather, custom door panels and a centre console that houses a personalised tablet.

The bright blue Soul ‘First Class’ is described as an 'upscale inter-city' car that lets business travellers work and relax as they journey to out-of-town meetings and destinations. Another self-driving custom-built creation has rear-facing seats, an absence of steering wheel and wide array of luxury enhancements.

Eliminating the need for a driver, the Soul First Class has a revamped front dash which houses two rear-facing front seats. The Soul’s passengers are greeted by a 40-inch Samsung LED TV connected to a Mac mini computer system and premium audio speakers throughout. A custom motorised centre console reveals two tablets, which controls the futuristic Kia. To match the first-class electronic system is first-class comfort says Kia, with white and grey leather with diamond stitching throughout the cabin, and modern grey wood flooring to match.

The Soul’s exterior brings about the same level of luxury as the interior with Lux Blue paint and modified upper and lower grilles with LED lighting. The 19-inch Rotiform Monoblock CCV wheels bring a ‘modern vibe’ to the car’s exterior and round out the complete autonomous vehicle inspired overhaul.

The Telluride concept, a three-row, seven-passenger, luxury hybrid SUV concept features a modern and upright shape, muscular stance, and state-of-the-art technology for its occupants. Purely conceptual, the Telluride is based on an existing platform and reveals the brand’s interest in potentially offering a premium SUV positioned above the current Sorento.