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Kia Details Its Pop Concept

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On: Thu, Oct 7, 2010 at 3:36PM | By: Chris Weiss


Kia Details Its Pop Concept

Kia teased its Pop concept weeks ago. Until the Paris Motor Show commenced, we were limited in what we could tell you about it. We knew it was a distinctive, 2 + 1 urban commuter that looked like it came from another planet. But Kia was rather coy with the details of what exactly was behind those capsule-like doors. Once the company unveiled the concept in Paris, it came clean with the details.

Under that short, flat hood, Kia has a 50 kW electric motor powered by an 18 kWh lithium-polymer gel battery. The battery is smaller and lighter than more common lithium-ion packs.The combination powers the Pop up to 100 miles and takes about six hours for a full charge. The concept's top speed is given at 87 mph.

In creating the Pop concept, Kia sought to look far into the future and well beyond the auto market of today. In doing so, it took inspiration from outside sources like ultralight racing bicycles and gliders (and presumably insects and sci-fi-derived spacecraft). The designers aimed to make something resembling a nucleas or "wild atom," and indeed, the Pop does give the appearence of the smallest possible unit of automotive technology, though it's actually slightly longer than cars like the Smart ForTwo.

Where the Pop really separates itself from the pack is in its non-derivative looks. The compact three-seater measures just three meters bumper-to-bumper. It features scissor doors with the distinctive capsule windows and a front-end that looks like some sort of robotic insect staring right back at you. Much like some of Lotus' new concepts, the Pop gets a windshield/glass roof. Only it's a little more seamless than Lotus' version.

Inside, the concept is decked out in purple trim and includes interesting features like an OLED instrument panel that displays information when the car is on. Up front, the car has a bench seat for driver and passenger, and in the back is the third seat.

Given its odd-ball looks and Kia's admitted prophetic over-practical intentions, we don't expect to see the Pop—or anything remotely like it—come off of Kia's production lines. However, the car is definitely the type of unique, funky concept that adds a little buzz to auto shows. And, if a Reuters report detailing the covering up of showroom models is to be believed, the Kia Pop is presented by one of the less bashful gals at the show.


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