Kia reveals new Sportspace estate concept

Following last week’s teaser image, Kia has revealed the first full pictures of its new concept model, the Sportspace.

Previously believed to be a saloon, the pictures reveal that the Sportspace is in fact a sports-style estate model, with a bold, visually dramatic appearance and captivating body shape.

Designed at Kia’s studio in Frankfurt, the manufacturer says that the Sportspace has been designed for “fast and efficient travel, with maximum comfort and minimal stress”.

New breed of grand tourer

“We set out to design a car that is a totally new breed of grand tourer,” said Kia Europe’s chief designer Gregory Guillaume.

“One for active people who need reasonable cargo space on the weekend, but don’t want to compromise moving around in style, comfort and with an element of sportiness.”

Representing a sleek new direction for the company, the Sportspace is nonetheless instantly recognisable as a Kia thanks to the design of the manufacturer’s signature tiger nose grille.

The new concept also takes obvious design cues from the appearance of popular Shooting Brake estates, with a long wheelbase, clean but strong lines and a slick, raked back roofline.

Little else is known about the new model, other than Kia says that it will fit up to four people and offer space and practicality without sacrificing performance, sustainability or economy.

Hinting at a new Optima?

While it’s still unconfirmed, rumours state that the Sportspace could be a hint towards a new direction for Kia’s Optima saloon, which was last updated by the company in 2013.

Official specifications have yet to surface, but it’s expected that the new Optima will be more upmarket than its predecessors, and Kia states that the Sportspace will have a “high level of interior comfort”.

It’s expected that a new Optima could come with the option of a plug-in hybrid powertrain to rival Ford’s new hybrid Mondeo, and to also boost its appeal in the fleet car segment.

An all-electric version could also be on the way, which would tie into Kia’s promise that the Sportspace will be not only powerful, but also economical and environmentally sustainable.

Kia’s remaining tight-lipped about the Sportspace so far, but it’s due for its official public debut at the Geneva Motor Show early next month, alongside the new Picanto and Trail’ster concept.