Kia's getaway car

Kia Sportspace concept, front
Kia Sportspace concept, head on
Kia Sportspace concept, side, action
Kia Sportspace concept, interior
Kia Sportspace concept, rear
Kia Sportspace concept, side
Kia Sportspace concept, boot

A SPORTY estate car with an ingenious way of loading luggage has been unveiled by Kia as a concept model for the Geneva Motor Show.

Dressed in bright red the stunning Sportspace is the Korean car maker's take on blending a GT with a station wagon.

Gregory Guillaume, Kia's chief European designer, described the Sportspace as the ‘ultimate getaway car' - a vehicle as much at home going away for an action weekend as it is on the everyday commute.

The Sportspace is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine developing 250ps.

It measures 4.85 metres in length but is lithe and low slung - in the same vogue as the Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake and the Jaguar XF Sportbrake.

While the interior is futuristic and includes a display screen linked to a rear view camera which replaces a conventional mirror the clever stuff is in the boot where an array of retractable rolling balls is embedded in the cargo area floor to allow heavy objects to be pushed in.

Switch on the ignition and the rollers retract so the luggage cannot slide.

The Sportspace looks very much an action car and can easily carry a set of skis thanks to a purpose-built hatch in the rear seat.

According to Guillaume the concept was conceived as a car that would keep drivers happy getting out and about and also be enjoyable in regular use.

Kia revealed the Sportspace at a private preview on the eve of this year's Geneva show which runs until March 15.

The fast growing brand, which last year notched up a record 350,000 sales in Europe last year will also be showing off a new look Picanto city car as well as a GT version of the cee'd hatchback which features Kia's first semi-automatic seven speed dual clutch gearbox as well as a new three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine.

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