liter inline-4 hybrid
hp + 44 hp
125.6 hp per liter
(from Kia Press
Release) KIA LOOKS TO SET THE STREETS ALIGHT WITH RADICAL
PROVO CONCEPT AT GENEVA
• Kia’s latest
concept hints at potential future B-segment vehicle
• 1.6 T-GDi engine develops 204 ps
• Hybrid electric system adds another 45 ps as required
• Features Kia’s first seven-speed DCT transmission
Looking every centimetre
a road-legal racer, Kia’s new provo concept, unveiled at the 83rd
Salon International De l’Auto in Geneva, mixes ultra-modern
technology with a self-confident and agile look to deliver an
exciting new B-segment car for enthusiasts.
The sleek, low, yet muscular coupe-style hatchback mixes a
petrol-fuelled turbo-charged engine with clever
regenerative-electric motors to bring a smart-hybrid solution to
this fun-focused concept that points to Kia Motors’ future B-segment
This is a car designed for fun – pure and simple. Every curve,
crease and line combines to bring provo to life with a single
purpose – to delight and entrance its owner and to bring a smile to
the driver's face. The car is meant to be cheeky and cheerful in its
compactness and to hint at the fun awaiting on the open road.
Created to deliver a new interpretation of the DNA from sporting
coupes of the past with all the advantages of up-to-the-minute
technology and materials, provo blends a clean, simple yet muscular
exterior with a stunning interior treatment mixing high-tech and
luxury materials that will set pulses racing whether on busy city
streets or at the race-track.
From its steep leading edge featuring an aero-style splitter,
carbon-fibre panels and tiny LED cluster front lights, over the long
bonnet and sculpted flanks, visor-look windscreen to the sharply
cut-off rear treatment (also featuring an aerodynamic splitter with
an adjustable vent system to direct airflow), the provo looks every
inch a purposeful performer.
Described by Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer at Kia’s European
styling base in Frankfurt, as “an emotional and muscular car aimed
at delivering pure fun and performance for today’s city-based
enthusiast driver who longs for the curves of the open road,” the
Kia provo isn’t just a styling exercise. It combines a 1.6-litre
Turbo GDi engine producing 204 ps with smart-4WD-hybrid technology
from an electric motor delivering an additional power surge to the
rear wheels when required and also allowing low-speed electric-only
motion. A seven-speed DCT transmission – Kia’s first – completes the
impressive technical package.
Guillaume went on: “This is entirely a car for European tastes and
conditions. Designed purely at our Frankfurt studios the provo was
conceived as a confident and single-minded statement of dynamism and
energy to deliver a new sense of fun into the B-segment. The potent
shaping displays a balanced and refined outline within a compact
overall shape and the tiny front and rear overhangs enhance the
balance within its proportions.”
Clearly a car from Kia, the compact provo which is 3.88-metres long,
1.77-metres wide and 1.35-metres tall, introduces itself with a
steep front nose and carbon fibre lower valance that immediately
convey a sense of purpose.
Hidden behind a single piece of glass is the latest take on the
Kia’s ‘tiger nose’ grille treatment linking straight into the
Schreyer-inspired headlamp units that are made up of more than 850
tiny LEDs. The programmable LEDs can be used to provide daytime
running lights, full beam or even race-style configurations – as
well as more humorous and decorative displays to add to provo’s
sense of fun!
This thin, sharp glass panel is echoed at the rear of provo’s body
and separates a purposeful splitter-style lower valance from the
long, flat bonnet panel sculpted with twin creases to hint at, but
not slavishly copy, the muscle cars of old.
A wrap-around front screen hides the A-pillars and frameless doors,
giving a visor-style appearance to the cabin glass with the
clamshell-like roof floating above. This is divided at the rear by
different colour sections rising up from the C-pillars in an almost
roll-over bar appearance.
Colour is used on the provo to enhance the almost-masculine stance
with sharp points echoed throughout the design. High-intensity
blood-orange accents contrast with the grey-green ‘Storm Metal’ body
colour to draw the eye to particular aspects of the structure and
equipment, while carbon fibre surfaces interplay with traditional
materials and high-gloss or anodised aluminium to strengthen the
connection to the track cars that inspired provo.
Planting provo firmly in touch with the road are distinctive
225/40-shod, 19-inch milled-alloy wheels with a traditional ‘cast’
look fixed by single centre nuts finished in anodised blood-orange.
And with just a 2.53-metre wheelbase, exciting handling and
road-holding is guaranteed.
Backing up those performance credentials, provo utilises an
ingenious Smart 4WD Hybrid power train. The four cylinder
turbocharged 1.6-litre GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) engine is
tuned to deliver is 204 ps rapidly and progressively allowing provo
to deliver an injection of speed and performance often absent from
the more functional B-segment mainstream.
But, this potent internal combustion engine also benefits from a
regenerative-powered electric motor driving the rear wheels either
automatically when required during cornering and in strong
acceleration – giving a power boost of as much as 45 ps – or in a
button-activated creep-mode at low speeds to avoid emissions in city
traffic or when ‘stealth’ is required. The regenerative system
captures its power during braking when in normal use.
Moving inside, the Kia Europe Design team was able to let
imaginations run free although in typical Kia fashion it delivers
clear functionality with exuberant style – essential if provo is to
go into production at some point in the future.
Guillaume commented: “The interior is very, very black – as we
believe it should be to allow drivers to focus on the experience.
But we have also looked to make the functional aspects of the car
fit the modern demands of today’s motorists.”
Opening the two side doors – via flush-fitting push-up electronic
handles that operate with a satisfying electric click – reveals that
the polished aluminium panels featured in the external sculpted
flanks extend to create a relatively high-level two-step sill into
the car – cut-away at the leading edge to allow easier ingress and
The next surprise is the door construction itself – the doors are
made from three individual panels – the outer panel, a carbon-fibre
inner panel and a neoprene-covered inner section that also features
the Storm Metal body colour. The inner door releases are
reassuringly solid polished aluminium.
The dashboard is made from a single expanse of carbon fibre, but
does not extend down to the floor – deliberately – in order to keep
the footwells clear and uncluttered except for polished aluminium
footrests and pedals.
Echoing the sculpted flanks of the provo, the dashboard has a
business-like main binnacle containing large analogue dials on a
digital display and a smaller central display of other minor gauges,
but because the display is digital it can be programmed to offer a
selection of functions. Set on the centre tunnel are two control
hubs – the engine stop-start button and drive selector for the
seven-speed DCT transmission and a Multi-Media Interface control.
This latter control allows the driver to select a variety of screen
displays – as well as controlling infotainment functions. In
‘normal’ mode the driver sees a speedometer, rev counter and sat-nav
route instructions. In ‘cruise’ the display is centred on a large
scale map, route instructions and a speedometer, while in ‘track’
mode the display features just a large rev counter, a track-map and
a lap-timer. There is also a full ‘entertainment’ mode allowing
visuals of music, radio and other information.
The centre-mounted display provides appropriate gauges to the mode
with a series of aluminium toggle switches set underneath –
including an anodised blood-orange toggle for the hazard warning
Modern materials allow the front seat construction to be made from a
single wave-like panel running from one door sill to the other –
covered in quilted leather. The seat backrests are cleverly mounted
on a rotating aluminium track so that instead of folding forward,
they spin into the centre of the vehicle allowing easy access to the
admittedly occasional-use rear seats.
Guillaume commented: “The whole interior concept was designed around
not having a big centre console, but instead using latest technology
to provide excellent functionality in a clean, clear and attractive
“By using a DCT gearbox we were able to get rid of the floor-mounted
gear-shift and use paddles behind the steering wheel, which has
blood-orange stitching and a race style straight-ahead indicator,
allowing us to use the floor space for other controls resulting in a
much tidier environment. And because the seats are fixed we have
full electric adjustment for the pedal box and steering column –
further simplifying the interior and giving a perfect-fit for any
Completing the moody cockpit feel are tiny red LEDs set in the
multi-layered doors, in the air vents and also in roof to give a
low-glow ambient illumination. The roof panel also incorporates
aluminium window toggle controls.
Whilst no specific production schedule for provo is on the calendar,
the arrival later this summer of the new Kia pro_cee’d GT makes it
clear that the company remains committed to delivering desirable,
dynamic and stunningly attractive vehicles that will deliver
affordable enjoyment to real, everyday motorists. The provo could be
just such a car.