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Chicago: Kia Multi-S Concept

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Crossover Dreams: Kia's Multi-S Hints at Future

Date posted: 02-10-2006

CHICAGO — Kia Motors America rolled out its second intriguing concept of the year, following up the Detroit debut of the Soul with the introduction here of the Multi-S.

Kia says the Multi-S is aimed at "individuals seeking a car with character and young families with active children." Judging from the comments of executives at the concept's unveiling here, a production version seems likely in the not-too-distant future.

At the press conference, Len Hunt, Kia's executive vice president and chief operating officer, observed, "Multi-S has near production technological features and fit-and-finish refinement that will move Kia further up the brand ladder." That sounds like a broad hint to us.

The Multi-S seems like a slightly more sedate and functional companion to the Sportage, the company's SUV-like crossover. The Multi-S is powered by a DOHC 2.4-liter four-cylinder that is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift capability. The concept rides on 19-inch wheels and tires.

Inside, the vehicle features leather-suede seating for seven, dual full-length glass moonroofs, and an overhead console. Safety equipment includes electronic stability control, full-length side curtain airbags, active front-seat head restraints, adaptive headlamps, and a tire-pressure monitoring system.

The Multi-S also boasts the latest in multisystem-interface technology for iPods, MP3s, PDAs, cell phones, and laptop computers, plus a rear entertainment system and premium surround-sound audio system.

What this means to you: Are you reading this from your condo or first house? And is your first child on the way? If so, ask yourself one more question: "Am I ready to crossover?"

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Source: Edmunds

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