After teasing it earlier this month, Kia has fully revealed its Cub concept at the Seoul Motor Show in South Korea. The cutesy, small hatchback is a bit larger than a Fiat 500 or MINI Cooper, but smaller than a Nissan Juke. The Cub concept likely signals Kia’s interest in entering the premium-compact segment occupied by those vehicles.
Like the Honda Element, the Kia Cub‘s rear doors open backwards, and there is no B-pillar, allowing for maximum ease of entry. Out front is a curved black insert on the front fascia that looks like a handlebar moustache, with a softened version of Kia’s “tiger nose” grille (which incorporates an engine air intake) and rounded, squinty headlights. The rear has LED taillights and another black insert that matches that on the front fascia. Nineteen-inch alloy wheels are standard. A thick white racing stripe runs from the front to rear of the car.
Kia claims the Cub concept’s interior has a “unique ambience,” thanks to black leather seats with yellow accents, a display screen perched atop the dashboard, a smartphone dock in the slanted center console, and a heating vent controlled by touch. The steering wheel can detect the driver’s heartbeat to keep track of his health, and the instrument-cluster display can be operated by using gestures, à la Minority Report.
Under the hood is a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four engine good for 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. Kia estimates the Cub concept would probably accelerate to 60 mph in around 7-8 seconds.
Kia says it does not plan to put the Cub concept into production.