28 September 2007

Kia: still in the dark?

Korean 4x4 teaser shot doesn't have us on the phone to the importers

Kia KM

In keeping with the current trend for camouflage and subterfuge, Kia has released a dark, sneaky snap of its upcoming large 4x4, the HM.

The bulky SUV was previewed by Kia's Mesa concept back in 2005 at the Detroit motor show, the same show that the production version is set to be unveiled at next January.

The extra-long wheelbase can accommodate seven seats in three rows, set inside a cabin that's claimed to have 'a premium feel', which appears to be shorthand for 'DVD player as standard'. 

It doesn't look like Kia's new design head Peter Schreyer - responsible for the Kee concept we saw in Frankfurt, which was previewed by a similar teaser shot - had much of a hand in the HM's styling, though: it looks as boxy as, well, a box. 

The HM (maybe we should add a few more m's to that name) is aimed at the US and Korean market to begin with. But should there be sufficient interest from the UK, then Kia could sell it on this side of the pond, with a diesel engine likely replacing the US version's big V8. 

Even so, we can't imagine a big, unreconstructed 4x4 proving too popular with Red Ken and the rest over here. The HM, we fear, is destined to stay in the dark.

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