Remember when Kia sucked? It wasn’t so long ago that the Korean car maker was synonymous with cheap, unimpressive cars. These days though, Kia is riding a wave of enthusiasm for their distinct and well-made products, and this has given the brand the confidence to stick its neck out with some eye-catching concepts. The Kia Provo Hybrid could point the way towards a sporty application of fuel-saving technology in Kia’s first sports car.
The concept is powered by a 201 horsepower 1.6 liter turbo engine, the same engine found in the Hyundai Veloster Turbo. Additionally a 45 horsepower electric motor boosts combined output to a respectable 246 ponies sent to all four wheels. While we’re more partial to rear-wheel drive ourselves, automakers and consumers alike seem enamored with all-wheel drive. So be it.
Kia’s representatives said that the Provo points the way towards a potential future B-segment vehicle, and Kia could certainly use a “sports car” in their lineup. The B-segment hot hatchbacks are particularly popular with today’s youth, so it appears Kia really has their finger on the pulse of Millenial car buyers. Big ups on the dual exhaust tips too.
Alas, the concept comes equipped with a seven-speed dual clutch DCT automatic transmission, and fuel economy was not specifically discussed. These days new car buyers want to have their cake and eat it too, and a sporty-yet-fuel-efficient Korean hatchback seems to play right into the hands of today’s youth. Now all Kia has to do is actually build and sell it.