Naming the fruit of one's hard concept-car-designing labour 'provo' (with small p) appears rather redundant, as being provocative typically is the main – if not single – goal of any such product. Perhaps having a pro-cee'd in the model lineup helps explain.
Whatever. The KIA provo impressed in Geneva. And as a few of us -including myself- were still missing this little PALEXPO pearl in Rik's hot report, here's for some (long overdue, I know) compensation.
First question is: how do we categorize this little road racer? Potential competitors as the Mini Cooper (Works?), DS3 Racing (S. Loeb?) and 500 Abarth (Esseesse?) spring to mind – but perhaps even closer is that tiny, nimble yet similarly muscular bombshell named smart Roadster (Brabus!), Michael Mauer's claim to fame before moving on to head Porsche. Nimble is perhaps not exactly the word to describe the muscular creation of the team lead by 'Larry from Texas' – my PSA École d'Été buddy from times long gone. Fact is that the eye of the KIA tiger is winking at the premium market – carefully starting at the bottom segment. The later introduced (tiger-) Cub should not stand in its way, if it were up to us.
The LED-inspired flexible
headlamp graphic plays with the essence of light units in defining a car’s
face. We're not fully convinced by the now rudimental ‘tiger
nose’ graphic – downplayed in favour of a strong, full-width musclecar-like
Behind a scultpted and chromed sill panel in the spirit of what we’ve
seen in Citroen’s DS numero 9, we find a fashionably layered door composition and cross-cabin cross-stitched seat upholstery. And do we sense a
spell of Ford GT in those central controls? Could be that we're slowly getting over-enthousiastic, but it’s not a bad
association, is it?
Now isn't it time, after all that show car powerplay of recent years (Pop, GT, Trackster…) and after those truly crowd pleasing production cars
(Optima, Sportage, Rio…) that the korean cat starts using its fangs once again? The hunting territory of the premium mini seems wide open for this