The Kia Naimo Electric Concept car has just been unveiled at the 2011 Seoul Motor Show in Korea. The concept’s boxy design layout – the Korean name Naimo (neh-mo) translates to ‘square shape’ – was created by Kia’s international design team in Seoul.
From the front, the car exhibits a number of key design elements, including a wrap-around windscreen and drawn-back A-pillars. There’s also blackened A- and B-pillars which gives the car a lower-profile appearance. The front presents an almost faceless design, featuring no radiator grilles or venting, just an arrangement of LED lights.
The rear of the car features a similar uncluttered, almost odd, design with an equally interesting layout of LED lights. There’s also a versatile three-way opening rear hatch and reverse-opening rear doors to maximise easy access to the cabin.
Inside the cabin there’s an array of unique materials and new technology placed throughout. Korean oak is used on the door trim and the floor, while the roof lining is made from special ‘Han-ji’ Korean paper. The dashboard is made of transparent organic light emitting diodes and is “full device” compatible, meaning it is compatible with iPads and various other touch screen platforms.
Kia Motors chief design officer, Peter Schreyer, recently spoke about the car upon it’s unveiling:
“Naimo is a perfect balance of innovation, high-tech and Korean tradition. It was heavily inspired by the purity and grace of traditional Korean arts and crafts, but combines this with cutting edge technologies to deliver a truly premium experience.”
The Kia Naimo is powered by an electric motor with twin 27kWh batteries which use LiPoly (Lithium Ion Polymer) technology. They offer a range of around 200km per charge. The batteries can be recharged up to 80 percent capacity using a fast (50kW) recharge outlet in around 25 minutes, or around four or five hours for a 100 percent recharge using a standard 3.3kW outlet.
Other interesting features on the Naimo Concept include aerodynamic, low-drag 20-inch alloy wheels, cameras that replace side mirrors and something called ‘air wipers’ which incorporate high-pressure air jets at the bottom of the windscreen that push water over the roof of the car, replacing the need for conventional wipers.
It’s an interesting concept, and one that will join Kia’s growing fleet of electric and highly-efficient hybrid prototypes that are currently being tested for future product development.