Kia will introduce this crossover concept, the Cross GT, at next week's Chicago auto show. The model is said to preview the design cues that Kia would use on a new crossover that is larger and more premium than its recently redesigned 2014 Sorento.
The lone teaser photo is too shadowy to see much of the concept car, although brightening it in Photoshop (as shown below) allows us to see the Cross GT's basic outline. It will use the familiar Kia "tiger-nose" black-mesh front grille, with skinny headlight assemblies at either side. The airy greenhouse has a steeply sloped roofline; the D-pillar incorporates the same abrupt kink as on the Kia Sportage crossover. Though the giant wheels, with fat spokes, are probably only concept-car flair, they do match the bold wheel styling we've seen on other production Kia products. The odd silver accent at the front of the passenger door, meanwhile, recalls a similar treatment on Land Rover products.
Given Kia's promise that the Cross GT previews a larger, more premium model than the Sorento, we can infer a few things about an eventual production model. It would almost certainly have seating for seven, given that the Sorento already offers five or seven seats depending on option packages. A production Kia Cross GT also may exceed the 184.4-inch length of the 2014 Sorento, and it would probably have stronger engine choices than that model's 191-hp, 2.4-liter inline-four and 290-hp, 3.3-liter V-6.
Kia may position a version of the Cross GT as its minivan replacement, given that the Sedona van has been axed. In Europe, however, the Sedona will be replaced by the Kia Carens, which was known as the Rondo here, is slightly smaller than some American minivans, and isn't currently confirmed for U.S. consumption.
Regardless, Volkswagen will follow the same strategy: its CrossBlue concept previews a larger three-row crossover that will take the place of the slow-selling Routan in the company's lineup.Check back with Automobile Magazine for more information once the Kia Cross GT concept makes its public debut next week in Chicago.