We are well aware that Kia Motors will foray into our market with a compact SUV which will be based on the SP Concept it showcased at the 2018 Auto Expo. The Korean carmaker is now gearing up to launch its first product in the second half of this year and is building up some hype around it. Adding to the anticipations, the company has released the official sketches of its upcoming compact SUV and we’ll have to admit that it looks stunning.
The front of the car in the sketch looks almost identical to what we saw on the concept. The front bumper sports angular character lines which make the face look crisp and of course who can ignore the tiger nose. The central air dam is just the right fit for the bumper and the front aprons house the vertically stacked LED fog lamps. However, the wide tiger-nose grille is the most prominent part of Kia’s signature design and in the SP2i it does manage to add that quintessential butch appeal. Moreover, elements like metallic muffler effect on the bumper, LED headlamps and 3D graphics with diamond pattern at the edges altogether bring in a sense of modernity to the design.
That said, the story at the rear is a bit different. In the sketches at least, the compact SUV looks almost nothing like the SP2i and the looks sharper and the stance also is wider. The tail lamps are conjoined by a chrome bar and it gets dual exhaust pipes which are finished in chrome. But the treatment which makes the design so pretty is the sloping roofline which aesthetically falls over the tapering rear windscreen.
The SP2i or Trazor, if Kia sets the seal on that name, has a lot riding on it. It will set the tone for its brand in India and acceptance of all its future models will largely depend on how its first model turns out to be. Being a sister unit of Hyundai, we know that there will be platform, powertrain and technology sharing which is why the Kia Compact SUV is likely to use the tried and tested powertrains- the 1.6-litre petrol and diesel units we have seen in the Creta and other Hyundai models. Hence, the onus will be predominantly on the design, material quality and fit & finish which will help Kia to build its space in the market.
Kia’s upcoming compact SUV is expected to be launched at a starting price of ₹ 12 lakh in India which can go all the way up to ₹ 16 lakh for the top end variant. Other than its sister brand- the Hyundai Creta, it will also face competition from the Tata Harrier, Jeep Compass and the upcoming MG Hector.