These are the first pictures of Kia's new 2010 electric concept car, the Pop, which is due to make its debut at the Paris motor show on 30 September.
Details on the new Kia Pop are sketchy, but at 3m long and with a triple-seat arrangement, it could be that Kia has its sights set on creating a rival to the Toyota iQ. In fact, we can see from the bird's-eye shot that the seating plan mimics that of Toyota's baby with two positions in a front bench and a single rear seat behind the front passenger. Whether the Pop can replicate the tiny-footprint practicality of the iQ remains untested for now.
The Kia Pop looks pure show-car to me...
Judging by the pictures, the Pop is clearly intended as an exhibition in packaging techniques, and has been dressed up in a skin designed to wow show-goers. We'd expect a production version to be heavily toned down from what we see here, although some of the motifs on the front end appear to be inspired by Kia's current design language, with sharp creased surfaces and a tiger snout nose.
And the powertrain?
Unsurprisingly for a wacky city car concept, the Kia Pop uses electricity as its motive force. Whether this will translate to production remains an unknown, but it would give Kia an extra dimension to its range.
For all its progress in recent times, the Korean maker is currently lacking an electric or hybrid model in its western line-up, and a battery-powered city car would allow it to take the fight to Mitsubishi's i-MiEV and the forthcoming Peugeot iON.