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Kia's Futuron Concept Is Inspired by "Starcloud" and Dragons

Kia looked to flying saucers and dragons for its aesthetic—and a video shows off the transforming features.

The Kia Futuron concept, which was revealed at the 2019 China International Import Expo in Shanghai, provides a glimpse of what the Korean automaker's upcoming electric vehicles could look like. Its raised ride height could hint at a future electric SUV with a coupe-like design being part of Kia's lineup. Kia says the Futuron features level 4 autonomous driving capability via lidar sensors, allowing for hands-off and eyes-free operation.

Essentially a jacked-up coupe, the Kia Futuron Concept sports some wild design cues that complement its clean surfacing. Take the front fascia, for instance. Its faux grille previews the evolution of Kia's "tiger nose" design, which is now called the "tiger face." Embedded in it are multiple illuminated inlets that open to reveal LED light clusters; Kia says this design is inspired by the scaled armor of Chinese dragons, which is awesome. The inlets are also seen at the rear flanking a new Kia logo that first appeared on the Imagine concept earlier this year. The greenhouse is an actual greenhouse in that it's made of glass, giving passengers a 360-degree view of their surroundings and bringing to mind the design of flying saucers, Kia says. Two-piece scissor doors complete the Kia Futuron concept's sci-fi-inspired looks.

The Futuron's interior is as wild as the exterior. The front seats, which were are said to be inspired by first-class seats, are made from flexible materials and feature driving and reclined "rest" positions. When the vehicle is in autonomous mode, the front seats will immediately go into rest mode and the steering wheel will retract. Like on the exterior, the scales motif features prominently on the door panels, and even houses the vents for the ventilation system. The dash is dominated by what appear to be two giant, curved displays in front of the driver, with the second one placed farther back.

Powering the Kia Futuron is an electric setup mounted under the passenger cabin, as most are these days, to lower the center of gravity. The futuristic electric SUV has one electric motor in each wheel, giving it an electrified all-wheel-drive system, which Kia says will "deliver lightning-fast responses." At 190.9 inches long and featuring a 118.1-inch long wheelbase, the Futuron is about the same length as the Stinger sport sedan. There's no word yet on whether the Futuron will eventually go into production, but we can expect elements including the new corporate face and logo to eventually find their way into future models.

Check out the video below to see the Futuron's wildness in action: