Kia has unveiled four new hand-built and heavily-customised concepts to this year’s SEMA show, exploring active and diverse lifestyles ranging from sports entertainment to business travel.
Each concept is designed to give a glimpse into the future of ‘The Autonomous Life’, where vehicles will not only drive themselves but will also be tailor-built to suit our lifestyles.
Alongside the four modified show cars, the company showed the Telluride concept – a premium seven-seat hybrid SUV that would sit above the Sorento – which was first shown at this year’s Detroit motor show.
This autonomous Kia Niro concept has been built to the needs of an elite athlete, more specifically triathletes.
Built by LGE-CTS Motorsports, the Kia Niro hybrid SUV has been transformed into a true multi-purpose lifestyle vehicle, featuring a bed, custom bike rack, tool box and tablet computer mount.
The concept rides on lowered suspension and 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Dunlop Direzza sport tyres.
Featuring a cabin design for relaxation while also providing training and safety equipment, the Niro Triathlon is able to drive autonomously and keep pace with the triathlete during training.
The doors have all been modified for easier access, while the interior also features a zero-gravity reclining chair, custom cabinets and a portable shower.
School of Rock Sedona (Carnival)
In partnership with School of Rock – not the movie, the performance-based music education firm – Kia has transformed the Sedona people mover (known here as the Carnival) into a rolling recording studio.
Like the Niro Triathlon concept, the School of Rock Sedona is autonomous and provides a hands-free means of transporting the band between gigs.
The modifications include the removal of the driver-side B-pillar, steering assembly and gear selector, allowing room for a digital mixing board and dual flat-screen monitors to record tracks. Front-mounted near-field speakers “pump out the tunes” while an illuminating recording light lets everyone know people know a session is in progress.
Numerous parts of the cabin are lined with sound-reducing acoustic foam, while the tailgate flips down to reveal a stack of amps – perfect for a spontaneous roadside performance.
There is also plenty of storage for instruments, along with custom bean bags so band members can relax or jam in the comfort of the vehicle.
Filling the wheel arches are matte-black 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Toyo Proxes tyres.
Sorento Ski Gondola (Top)
Built by LUX Motorwerks, this custom Kia Sorento is designed to tackle snow and ice, climbing to higher ground in style, comfort and warmth.
The wheels have been swapped out for Dominator Rubber Tracks powder-coated in orange, while a custom roof rack provides storage for skis and poles.
Access has been improved thanks to the removal of the B-pillar and the modified rear doors.
Up front, the Sorento’s headlights have been painted black, silver and orange, while LED light bars allow for greater visibility in all conditions.
Inside, the Sorento Ski Gondola features custom door panels, dash and centre console treatments, with the latter housing a personalised tablet.
Black and orange leather trim compliments the exterior colour scheme, while the floor has been lined with waterproof Line-X material to protect against the ice and snow.
Soul First Class
Kia’s boxy Soul has been reimagined as an “upscale inter-city chariot”, which the company says is about optimising work and rest amid the hectic schedule of one’s professional life.
With no driver needed, the Soul First Class has done away with the traditional front dash, adding two rear-facing front seats instead.
The cabin features a 40-inch Samsung LED TV connected to a Mac mini computer and audio system.
Two tablets that live in the motorised centre console allow passengers to control the Soul, while the first-class nature of the vehicle is accentuated by the white and grey diamond-patterned leather throughout the interior, with grey wood flooring.
Outside, the Soul First Class is finished in PPG Lux Blue paint, and the front grilles have been modified with LED lights. Filling the arches are 19-inch alloy wheels.