We're Almost Sure to See One of Kia's Two 'Concept' SUVs
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By on March 28, 2019
When your author hears the word “Masterpiece,” his mind conjures up images of a coveted line of K-frame Smith & Wesson revolvers, one of which still exists on the market. Kia’s not thinking about guns, though the themes of toughness, precision, and premium appeal carry over to the automotive world.
Masterpiece is the name applied to one of two Kia concept SUVs unveiled Thursday at the Seoul Motor Show, but it’s the second of the two vehicles that might be most relevant to North American buyers.
The Masterpiece is a brawny midsize SUV that also carries the Mohave name. While this moniker might be unfamiliar to domestic audiences, Americans will remember its brief stint in Kia’s U.S. lineup as the Borrego — a body-on-frame model whose lifespan was cut short by the recession. Mohave soldiers on overseas, and the concept certainly looks like a sneak peek at its successor.
The second concept, called the SP Signature, is a very fleshed-out small utility vehicle that’s the latest in a line of SP-badged concepts. Kia’s Signature is clearly more than just a design exercise; the company says it “previews a production-ready compact SUV from Kia, due to be revealed for the first time later in 2019.”
Debuting the same week Kia’s corporate cousin, Hyundai, teased its upcoming small Venue crossover, it looks like this could be that model’s twin. For now, Kia’s staying tight-lipped about the Signature’s U.S. availability. One thing’s for sure, though — we’ll see the signature’s styling carry over to other vehicles in the Kia utility lineup.
The next Mohave, as previewed by the Masterpiece, is a question mark. Kia missed its chance to capitalize on U.S. SUV demand a decade ago, but it made up for it with this year’s release of the three-row Telluride. Reintroducing a similar-sized SUV, even a more rugged (and possibly BOF) one, might cannibalize Telluride and Sorento sales.
Then again, having too many utility vehicles is hardly a problem facing automakers these days. Just the opposite, in fact.
[Images: Kia Motors]
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