First Look: Kia KV7 Concept

Back in 2007, Kia debuted a funky concept dubbed the Soul, which went into production one year later. Now Kia's Southern California's design studio is enlarging its Soul with a new, larger, funky, cubic concept dubbed the KV7.

With the KV7, Kia is literally supersizing its Soul with the intention of reinventing what a van can be. The new concept features styling cues pulled straight from the 2007 Soul Concept and applied to a vehicle slightly smaller than a Ford Flex, making the concept appear as if it's the love-child of a Flex and the Soul Concept. It features an elongated version of the two-box design of the Soul, but with a new take on Kia's familial face.

"From the outset, we felt the [van] 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 at 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."

The rounded hood and flared fenders of the KV7 are taken straight from the Soul Concept. Unlike the Soul Concept, which broke the continuous line of the fenders with a fog light surround, the KV7's fender flares flow all the way across the front fascia. The grille and headlights are all modern Kia and almost look as if they were pulled from a 2011 Optima. However, Kia's designers shortened the grille and hid the headlights, coloring both black but surrounding the cluster with an aluminum accent.

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If Kia gets an interior like this on the road before VW can pop out the minibus, they will laugh all the way to the bank.Things like this have been appearing as concepts for decades, but nobody has taken it to the street.

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