Hybrid Motor touts Kia provo concept

Car enthusiasts view Europe as the place to see the latest in future car design or trends, and the 2013 Geneva Motor Show is no exception to the rule.

Kia Motors wowed the attending media with the unveiling of its provo concept, a subcompact hybrid hatch coupe.

Style-wise, the Kia provo looks like the lovechild between the oh-so British (but German-owned) Mini Cooper and the for America-only Scion tC coupe. The concept has a lozenge-style chassis like the Mini, with short front and rear overhangs. Both the flat front and rear fascias are near mirror images of each other, with the integrated head and tail lamp “strips” differentiating the two. (Tail lights are red.) Another homage to the Mini is the provo’s side sills which are deeply indented as well. A unique insert in each side provides an eye-catching feature as the provo races down the road.

Gregory Guillaume, chief designer at Kia’s European division, took a different take on sporty with the provo, which can be seen with the roof. Instead of a more sweptback design found covering most coupes and even some sedans, the provo’s roofline is more sharp and box-like. Such designs can be found on the youth-oriented Scion tC and, interestingly, U.S. muscle cars like the Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Camaro. The provo concept, states Guillaume, is “an emotional and muscular car aimed at delivering pure fun and performance for today’s city-based enthusiast driver who longs for the curves of the open road.”

Kia made no official announcements it would bring the provo into production. We won’t be surprised if it does, though, or design elements from the concept show up in future Kia vehicles. One clue that hints to the provo becoming reality is its engine. Most design-concept only vehicle don’t have one; there’s no point.

The Kia provo concept, on the other hand, is equipped with a four-cylinder turbo-charged engine and electric motor married to a seven-speed DCT automatic transmission. That makes it a hybrid. Horsepower of the setup is rated at 201. That figure boosts up to 446 horsepower when the driver needs to accelerate thanks to the electric motor. The provo has an electric-only power mode as well.

Other automakers debuting “green” vehicles at Geneva include the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive super sports car and the newest version of the Audi A3 e-tron. Mitsubishi is debuting two concepts: the GR-HEV hybrid truck and the CA-MiEV, the potential successor to its current i-MiEV electric car.

* Joel Arellano, EarthTechling