Forte-Based Kia Novo Concept Hints at Brand’s Future Compact Cars

Besides the New York Auto Show, there’s another international event going on in Seoul, South Korea, and it’s there that Kia chose to unveil its latest concept car, the Novo.

Designed at Kia’s Namyang design center in Korea, the Novo is based on a specially-adapted version of the Cerato (Forte) platform. Kia says the study features coupé-inspired styling and a minimalist, driver-focused cabin. The company also adds that it is “aimed at modern urbanites with stressful jobs and frantic schedules” and, more importantly, that it hints at the design direction for its next-generation compact cars.

The study’s name comes from the Latin “novatus” (meaning renewed or refreshed), as the designers’ intention was to make something new and fresh. The Novo is also about innovation, as Kia says it features both innovative styling and high-tech interior features.

The Novo has a sporty profile, thanks to the fastback roofline and the slim, long glass area. The front features the latest interpretation of Kia’s “tiger nose” grille, now wider and more deeply embedded, as well as slim new laser headlamps. The rear laser lamps’ shape echoes those of the front for an identical light signature, with other significant details being the triangular exhausts.

Inside, the Kia Novo adopts a minimalist approach, with the cabin focusing solely on the driver. A compact three-dimensional hologram display shows relevant information to the driver, while a “blind control” touch pad with finger print detection located next to the steering wheel allows drivers to control the car’s functions without taking their eyes off the road. Kia says there’s plenty of space for passengers, thanks to the car’s long body and intelligent packaging.

On the technical front, the Kia Novo is powered by a 1.6-liter T-GDI engine mated with a new seven-speed DCT. According to the automaker, the powertrain delivers “sporty performance and impressive fuel economy,” although no figures were released. Kia says there are currently no plans to build the Novo, but reckons the concept hints at its future compact car lineup.


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