The future is looking bright for Kia's softroader line-up, at least if the new Cross GT concept is anything to go by.
Kia admits that it may soon launch a big crossover that slots above the Sorento and this design study previews it. That's not to say that some of its design elements won't find their way onto the future Sorento and Sportage models.
The Cross GT shares its chassis with the German-designed GT saloon concept although the crossover was designed in Kia's design studio in California and features an all-wheel drive system rather than the GT's rear-wheel drive.
Its hybrid powertrain aims to offer both performance and economy by mating a modern 3.8-litre V6 petrol engine to an electric motor. Power is sent to all wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Combined outputs amount to 298kW and 677Nm and the Kia has an all-electric range of 32km.
Unlikely to make it onto the production model are a pair of rear-hinged 'suicide' back doors that open to an airy cabin that accommodates four passengers in luxurious bucket seats.
What's more, there's a 'sky light' with hexagonal glass inserts to let light into the passenger compartment.
Kia's president and design chief, Peter Schreyer, had this to say about the Cross GT concept: "The debut of the GT in 2011 heralded a new frontier for Kia, both from a design and a business perspective. It beautifully illustrated to the world that the brand was ready to explore the possibility of perhaps one day offering a full-size rear-wheel-drive luxury saloon.
"The Cross GT, with its raised stance and large cargo area, allows us to envision the GT in the form of a full-size luxury crossover."