Kia Cross GT Concept imagines a BMW in Korean clothes

Alex Lloyd

Once upon a time, Kia unveiled a rear-wheel drive luxury saloon concept known as the GT. Its styling exuded a hint of Maserati — meaning it looked fantastic — and despite being a fantasy, the GT provided an intriguing idea of where Kia could go. Now Kia have unclothed a new concept based upon the GT’s platform, the Cross GT.

The Cross GT shows Kia’s intent to enter the luxury crossover segment, dueling it out with cars such as the BMW X6. Of course, like with many concepts, the design of the Cross GT merely hints to a possible direction in which the vehicle might take if it did indeed ever get the green light for production. And that’s a good thing, because it isn’t exactly pretty.

The front end appears sleek and aggressive at first glance, but a closer inspection reveals bulbous edges that look like the Cross GT has consumed too many Big Macs. With the B-pillars removed, an abundance of light washes over the occupants, but the roofline meets the rear end with an abrupt awkwardness.

On the bright side, if production did occur, it’s likely these edges and excess fat would be trimmed, which could potentially reveal a rather tasty looking CUV underneath.

The conceptual powertrain used is a 3.8-liter V-6 hybrid, mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission and torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system. The motor puts out 400 hp and a whopping 500 lb.-ft. of hypothetical torque.

Ignoring the numbers, what we can take from this is that Kia is clearly dabbling with the thoughts of a hybrid powertrain combined to an AWD system, and this may well be a combination that finds its way into a production vehicle in the near future.

In other Kia news, the Forte 5-door was also revealed today at the Chicago auto show, presented in two trim levels (EX and SX). The EX utilizes a 2.0-liter four cylinder, where as the SX comes with a 1.6-liter turbo four, producing a stout 201 horsepower and 195 lb. ft of torque. It also comes with a 6-speed manual. And unlike the Cross GT, the Forte hot-hatch looks fantastic.