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Kia Sportspace concept looks ahead to new model line-up

Stylish estate gives a glimpse at Kia’s future, and at what a load-lugging Optima model might look like

Kia has debuted the new Sportspace concept in a global reveal event at the Geneva Motor Show.

Designed at its Frankfurt studio under the direction of Gregory Guillaume, chief designer Europe, the Sportspace gives us a hint at what an estate version of the next-generation Optima saloon could look like.

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It’s looking more likely that we’ll see the estate model, too, as Kia revealed that by 2018 it will have refreshed its full range of current models as well as bringing new models into new sectors.

The Sportspace would be one of those entrants into a new sector for Kia: it would be the biggest estate the company has ever produced, a title currently held by the compact Kia Cee’d estate.

An estate version of the next Optima would also help the South Korean manufacturer reach its ambitious goal of 500,000 sales in Europe by 2020.

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The Sportspace features Kia’s trademark tiger nose grille, clean lines, a raked back roofline, and adopts the same shooting brake rear end as seen on current Mercedes models like the CLA and CLS. Kia says the Sportspace has been designed for “fast and efficient travel with maximum comfort and minimal stress”.

Although it may look like a practical family estate, the Sportspace only has room for four, but offers a “spacious and functional” interior, according to the brand. It’s aimed at those who want to move stuff around without compromising on style.

Guillame said: “We set out to design a car that is a totally new breed of grand tourer – one for active people who need reasonable cargo space on the weekend, but don’t want to compromise moving around in style, comfort and with an element of sportiness.”

Kia confirmed to us last year that the next-generation Optima will get a reworked version of the current 1.7 CRDi diesel engine at launch. A range of turbocharged petrol engines is unlikely, we believe, but a plug-in hybrid model is thought to be on the cards, with Kia promising a class-leading electric-only range.

The Sportspace will join the refreshed Picanto city car on Kia’s stand at the Geneva Motor Show 2015.

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