A little futuristic fantasy and optimism helped Kia's California team come up with this nifty MPV concept. The story inside.


Kia wheeled out a new gullwing van concept vehicle yesterday during the North American International Auto Show.  The Kia KV7 MPV design study has an interesting look that could inject some much-needed style into the U.S. minivan segment.

The vehicle is not without a level of fantasy and futurism.  It has "lounge seating" that includes a couch and two oversized rounded swivel seats in the rear.  The driver and front passenger seats are also capable of swiveling around, making the interior perfect for hanging out during breaks on a road trip.  In total, the vehicle is said to seat seven, though it looks like that would be a tight squeeze.

Teak wood floors, a light headliner, and lots of glass makes for a relaxed interior.  In between the rear seats rests a tabletop touch-screen computer that can be used for gaming, internet surfing via the in-car wireless network, and vehicle data display.  Another touchscreen rests within the moving dashboard, which can be controlled via trackball.

LED lighting is used throughout the interior and exterior, which creates a connection to the two zones that might not otherwise be noticeable.  While the interior is more open and calm, the exterior looks tough and determined.  The slanted windscreen leads to a tapering roofline that gives the vehicle a look that offsets the aggressive and boxy front end.  Riding on 20-inch wheels, the vehicle hits a height of 68.1 inches (1729 mm), and stretches to nearly 192 inches (4873 mm) in length.  There is plenty of room to this vehicle, thanks to its 80-inch (2033 mm) width and 122-inch (3100 mm) wheelbase.

The Kia KV7 uses the same 2.0-liter GDI turbo found on the Optima.  With an automatic transmission, the engine delivers 285 hp (213 kW).  Some Hyundai vehicles utilize the engine for up to 269 ft-lb (365 Nm) of torque.

Kia's MPV study was conceived at the automaker's California design studio.


Gallery: Kia KV7 Concept revealed in Detroit