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Fri, 04 Nov 2016

Kia shows of 4 new concept cars at SEMA 2016 - Autonomous Driving is the theme

For once, we can actually look forward to a future filled with autonomous cars.
It’s probably not a coincidence that Halloween and the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association) show are held so close to each other because for many automakers it’s a chance to dress their cars up in the most outlandish costumes complete with extra horsepower, crazy modifications, and graphics that would snap necks in traffic. Essentially, it’s a show that allows automakers to put on their craziest costumes. Kia decided to imagine how four of its models would look like in a future filled with autonomous cars.
 
 

Sorento Ski Gondola

Taking the idea of a sport-utility vehicle to new heights – literally and figuratively – this custom Kia Sorento was built by LUX Motorwerks to tackle snow and ice as it gets you and your fellow skiers up to the top of the mountain for another run.  The luxurious and self-driving Sorento Ski Gondola is all about climbing to higher ground in style, comfort and warmth. 

Dominator Rubber Tracks powdercoated orange make this gondola a go-anywhere cold-weather machine. A custom metal roof rack supplies ample storage for skis and poles while the cargo area provides abundant space for boots, bags and other gear, all easily accessible thanks to the removal of the B pillar and the rear doors being converted to rear access doors. Up front, the Sorento’s headlights were painted black, silver and orange and LED light bars were installed for increased visibility in all conditions.

The Sorento Ski Gondola’s interior has been upgraded with custom door panels, dash and centre console, which houses a personalised tablet. The interior has also been given a reboot of black and orange leather to compliment the orange and PPG Silver Metallic paint of the Sorento’s exterior. Throughout the interior the floor was given a durable waterproof Line-X treatment to protect against the ice and snow that may find its way inside.

 

 

Niro Triathlon

Any elite athlete will admit it is a long, lonely road to the top and triathletes know that better than anyone else. All-night runs, bike rides across remote country and swims through dark waters make training for a triathlon a truly isolating experience. Kia’s autonomous Niro Triathlon offers refuge in a cabin designed to relax and recharge while also providing top-notch training and safety equipment.

Custom built by the master craftsmen at LGE-CTS Motorsports, the 2017 Niro hybrid has been transformed into a true crossover-utility lifestyle vehicle. Removal of the roof from the D-pillars back creates a small bed and allows for the custom bike rack, tool box and tablet computer mount. The Felt IA 2 road-racing bike can be easily removed or locked in place for repairs or transport. The ONEU safety laser bike lane light mounted to the rear illuminates a laser LED road behind the vehicle and the athlete can easily monitor speed, time and distance covered via the tablet while the Niro autonomously keeps pace. The tablet can also be attached inside the vehicle for entertainment or performance analysis while the Niro effortlessly drives the athlete home or to the next competition. Riding on lowered suspension, the Niro Triathlete is shod with 265/35R-18 Dunlop Direzza sport tires and lightweight 18-inch Method Rally Race wheels.

Removal of the passenger-side B-pillar facilitates easy entry into a cabin designed for comfort and efficiency. The back door has been modified to open on a rear-pivot hinge while the front door has been redesigned to open wider than a stock Niro, allowing the doors to open a full 90 degrees. With no reason to drive, the athlete is cosseted in an ultra-comfortable Human Touch zero gravity ergonomic reclining chair.  Numerous custom cabinets hold essential supplies, attire and parts, and a portable shower allows for a quick post-race clean-up.

 

 

Soul First Class

The Soul First Class is an upscale inter-city chariot that lets business travellers work and relax as they journey to out-of-town meetings and destinations.  This self-driving custom-built creation from LUX Motorwerks – with its rear-facing seats, absence of steering wheel and wide array of luxury enhancements – is about optimising work and rest amid the hectic schedule in one’s professional life.

Eliminating the need for a driver, the Soul First Class has a revamped front dash which now houses two rear-facing front seats. The Soul’s passengers are then greeted by a 40-inch Samsung LED TV connected to a Mac mini computer system and premium audio speakers throughout. A custom motorised centre console reveals two tablets, which control this futuristic Kia. To match the first-class electronic system is first-class comfort with white and grey leather with diamond stitching throughout the cabin, and modern grey wood flooring to match.

The Soul’s exterior brings about the same level of luxury as the interior with PPG Lux Blue paint and modified upper and lower grilles with LED lighting. The 19-inch Rotiform Monoblock CCV wheels bring a modern vibe to the car’s exterior and round out the complete autonomous vehicle inspired overhaul.