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Breaking the old: Kia’s new Sportage set to break cover and SUV boundaries

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Kia has tossed the covers off its all-new, fifth-generation Sportage SUV — and it’s certainly a looker!

But don’t just take our word for it…

In it’s teaser media release issued in Mzansi today (6 July 2021), Kia South Africa went to what are arguably pretty extreme lengths to describe the look of the new model.

“Tense and crisp lines ripple along the refined body, amplifying dramatic styling tensions. At the same time, clean but muscular surfaces join forces with intricate graphics to give the SUV a dynamic and assertive road presence,” read Kia’s description.

Poetry in motion

But while there is no doubting Kia’s ability to wax lyrical, there is equally no doubt that the South Korean automaker can produce great, good-looking vehicles.

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And whether the “clean but muscular surfaces are indeed joining forces with the intricate graphics”, or not — it’s hard to dispute that the new Sportage is a very attractive urban SUV.  

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What we know so far

While skant on details, such as when and where the new model will be launched, what derivatives will be available locally, and perhaps more importantly, whether you will be able to afford one, Kia did provide a range of other tantalising information certain to whet many an automotive appetite.

Key takeaways from Kia’s Sportage teaser:

  • Kia expects the exterior of the model to establish new design boundaries, while setting the tone for the next generation family.
  • Positioned as “the ultimate urban SUV”, Kia says its Sportage is inspired by nature and crafted on “excellence throughout and innovation at its core”.
  • It introduces a driver-centric, “cutting-edge interior with integrated curved display”.
  • The Sportage boasts class-leading headroom, legroom and luggage space.
  • Sportage debuts numerous firsts to create an optimal ride, including E-Handling, terrain mode and new Electric Control Suspension.
  • The new model is set to be one of the safest vehicles in its’ class.
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What Kia said

“The all-new Sportage symbolises the pioneering DNA of the Kia brand. The past success of the Sportage is deeply rooted in a mindset of constant reinvention. Under the new Kia brand, a fifth-generation Sportage once again brings an innovation that elevates the brand to the next level,” said the automaker.

Kia points out that, developed on a new architecture, the Sportage combines a driver-centric design with a state-of-the-art premium interior featuring a swooping integrated curved display that houses the very latest advancements in connectivity tech.

“Designers also focused on creating a pleasant space in which to spend time for all occupants. An intelligent package and clever use of space means that everyone inside Sportage can benefit from class-leading headroom and legroom.

“The SUV also sets the benchmark in luggage capacity, underscoring its everyday family-friendly practicality and usability.”

Safety is key and driveability imperative

The model, according to Kia, also leads the way in safety featuring both passive and active hightech systems – including Kia’s world-renowned comprehensive suite of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS).

The automaker stated that to create a dynamic, engaging, and optimal driving experience, the Sportage debuts numerous highly innovative technology breakthroughs. These include:

  • Kia’s E-Handling system that enhances the dynamic performance of the vehicle and improves agility and stability.
  • A new-generation Electric Control Suspension (ESC) provides optimum comfort and superior safety levels at all times thanks to its continuous damping control in real-time.
  • A Terrain Mode gives the Sportage outstanding ride capabilities in more challenging conditions such as snow, mud and sand.  

Kia Sportage has the power to surprise

KiaAdvanced powertrains make the all-new Sportage a highly economical, low-emissions realworld operator but such frugality is paired with smooth and highly responsive power delivery, resulting in an SUV that is energetic, sporty and fun-to-drive.

“The new Sportage is the first Kia vehicle to be available in long-wheelbase and short wheelbase model variants depending on the region, ensuring that the fifth-generation family fully meets the diverse and specific needs of all markets,” revealed the company.

“Our new Sportage is a true inspiration for the SUV category in every sense,” said Artur Martins, Kia Corporation senior vice-president and head of global brand and customer experience division.

The ‘ultimate urban SUV’

“Be it the forward-thinking design, stellar interior, next-generation tech, efficient and responsive powertrains, the highest levels in safety systems or the very latest engineering breakthroughs that guarantee a responsive and optimal drive – the all-new Sportage is the ultimate urban SUV.”

“Reinventing the Sportage gave our talented design teams a tremendous opportunity to do something new; to take inspiration from the recent brand relaunch and introduction of EV6 to inspire customers through modern and innovative SUV design.

“With the all-new Sportage, we didn’t simply want to take one step forward but instead move on to a different level in the SUV class,” Habib added.

Behind the design

Revealed earlier this year to great acclaim from the design community, Kia’s new design language – Opposites United – is at the core of the new Sportage, influencing every aspect of its appearance and character.

As such, the new SUV — which comes with an encyclopedia of on-board and interior tech, along with a smorgasbord of ergonomic and style innovations, is the result of a collaborative effort between Kia’s main global design network in Korea, Germany, the US and China.

Under the hood

Kia, listing an extensive basket of combinations, said advanced powertrains are at the heart of all-new Sportage and are directed at producing efficiency, frugality, power and performance.

The Sportage will be launched with a comprehensive range of powerful, responsive and efficient powertrains, including the very latest-generation clean petrol and diesel IC engine technology.

“From launch, a high-tech 1.6-litre TGDI powertrain will be offered in the all-new Sportage line-up, generating 132 kW and 265 Nm of torque.

“Also included in the launch line-up is a new and highly efficient R2.0-litre diesel engine featuring an advanced variable geometry turbocharger that helps it to develop 137 kW and 416 Nm of torque, revealed the company which added that a 2.0 four-cylinder unit has been designed in response to tightening emissions regulations.

The 1.6-liter TGDI engine is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (7DCT), while a 6-speed manual transmission will also be available. The new R2.0-litre diesel engine comes with an extensively re-engineered 8-speed automatic transmission.

Hybrid derivatives also in the mix

Developed on an advanced architecture that encompasses the latest powertrain electrification innovations, the all-new Sportage range will also feature hybrid (HEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models that deliver a no-compromise eco-friendly SUV package.

More information about the high-tech electrified all-new Sportage models, along with other petrol and diesel variants, will be made available nearer to start of sales.

Due for global market launch later this year, more detailed information on the model will be revealed closer to its launch date.

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