2018 Auto Expo - Kia announces its arrival with the SP Concept

Tata Motors might have stolen the limelight at the 2018 Auto Expo in New Delhi but one car-maker that has gone there all guns blazing is Kia. With an army of 15 models from its global portfolio and the entire top brass in tow, the South Korean car-maker couldn’t have reaffirmed its commitment to India more.

In the midst of all this, Kia took the wraps off the SP Concept, previewing a Creta-sized crossover that’s expected to be the brand’s first offering for the Indian market. 

On the days leading to the expo, teasers released by Kia Motor’s social media channels met with a good response despite the fact that they didn’t reveal much about the concept. Now that the covers are completely off, the initial positive feedback has turned into an overwhelmingly favourable reception.

And why not? The SP Concept looks impressive and production-ready. Knowing Kia, the production model is not likely to look much different either. 

Up front, Kia's trademark 'Tiger Nose' grille is now bigger, a bit toned down and extends right up to the fancy LED positioning lights. A mix of gloss black elements and silver inserts spruce up the fascia as does the sculpted bumper with vertical Daytime Running Lights. Move over to the sides and the vehicle impresses with a prominent shoulder line, contrasting roof, exaggerated wheels and interesting detailing around the C-pillar and the door cladding. The smart rear houses LED taillights with a silver insert running across the width of the car connecting them. 

Neither the interiors nor the specifications of the SP Concept were released but its safe to assume the 1.6-liter petrol and diesel engines from the Creta would be the power of choice for Kia India's first crossover. 

Based on the Creta, the SP Concept is likely to transform into a production model that, according to Kia, will go on sale in the second half of 2019. When it hits the market, expect the SP-based crossover to lock horns with Hyundai's own Creta apart from similarly-priced rivals like the Maruti-Suzuki S-Cross and Renault's Duster and Captur twins.

From the little Picanto to the smashing Stinger GT, the entire lineup of Kia cars were on display as were the brand's SUVs and crossovers - Stonic, Sportage, Sorento and Mohave.

Globally, Kia has been a force to reckon with in recent years with their models known for eye-catchy styling, feature-loaded interiors, industry-leading 7-year warranty and top reliability ratings. Combine all of that with the aggression and commitment the Koreans are known for, Kia might just be the next big thing in the Indian automotive industry!

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