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Kia Naimo concept (2011) first official pictures

Thu, 31 Mar 2011

Kia has provided us with a first view of their new Naimo supermini electric crossover concept car, ahead of its official debut at the 2011 Seoul motor show, which opens to the public on 1 April 2011. 

Kia Naimo? How do I pronounce its Name-o?

Naimo comes from the Korean word 'ne-mo' (pronounced neh-mo), says Kia. But it doesn't refer to either Jules Verne's submarine captain or Pixar's animated fish. The word means 'square shape'. So top marks for appropriateness in this case, even if Naimo is likely to spawn as many spoken variations as Huayra.

'Square shape' seems appropriate, Tell me more about the Kia Naimo

The Kia Naimo is a 3.9 metre long compact crossover, that Kia has developed as a possible five-door, four-seat EV city car. Standard show car touches include LED lighting arrays front and rear, rear vision mirrors replaced with cameras, windscreen wipers replaced by a high-pressure 'air wipers' in the A-pillar, and a massive glass sunroof.

As is de rigeur for a show car, you access the interior via a side aperture unemcumbered by a B-pillar, with back-seat passengers opening rear-hinged doors. There's another tribute to the Austin Allegro's Quartic wheel in front of the transparent OLED (organic LED) instrument panel. Korean Oak trims the doors and floor, and traditional Korean han-ji paper features on the headlining. Sounds lovely but I wouldn't pin your hopes on the floating, minimalist seats and exotic materials displacing conventional pews and plastics should Naimo make it to production.

What powers the Kia Naimo? Show car fantasy drive, or an actual powertrain?

Power comes from an electric motor with a maximum output of 80kW and maximum torque of 207lb ft, A twin-pack 27 kWh lithium ion polymer battery is located under the boot floor. Kia claim the Naimo has a 124-mile range on a single charge. Heavy duty fast chargers will get the Naimo to 80% capacity in 25 minutes. Home charging at normal current will replenish the Naimo's powercell in 5.5 hours.

Kia says the Naimo has a fully-functional drivetrain and will join their fleet of alternative fuel research vehicles. No word on production plans, but it's not hard to imagine a future Kia Soul taking on some of the Naimo's styling cues and EV tech.

By Mark Hamilton