Making its world premiere at the Seoul Motor Show, the Kia Naimo electric concept car combines Korean heritage with innovative modern features.
Taking its name from the Korean word “Ne-mo”, (pronounced ‘Neh-mo’, meaning ‘square shape’), the Naimo electric crossover utility vehicle (CUV) was conceived by Kia’s international design team in Seoul, and is characterized principally by its simple lines and solid, muscular stance.
The uncomplicated overall design is accentuated by a number of striking key details, such as the wrap around windscreen and asymmetric sunroof design, the front and rear dot-style LED head and positioning-lamps. This juxtaposition of simple and complex is a common trait of many traditional Korean art and craft. Asian Celadon-style pottery, in particular, was a major influence on the car’s styling — with the pottery’s asymmetric form lending itself to the sunroof design, and the typical jade coloring giving Naimo its unique exterior finish. Kia’s design team also made use of innovative technology features to give the car a premium feel and to ensure the car’s exterior remained uncluttered. For example, Naimo has no traditional wiper blade on the windscreen — instead it employs a high-intensity air jet at the base of the windscreen that performs an ‘air wiper’ function. Conventional door mirrors have also been replaced with miniature cameras installed in the A-pillars.
Naimo’s interior was designed to evoke a strong sense of tranquility and features hand-crafted materials throughout. Korean oak is used to trim the interior door panels and the entire interior floor, Korean “Han-ji” paper is used for the head lining. Alongside these traditional elements sit modern features such as a TOLED (transparent organic light emitting diode) storming display instrument panel and full device connectivity. “Naimo is a perfect balance of innovation, high-tech and Korean tradition. It was heavily inspired by the purity and grace of traditional Korean arts and crafts, but combines this with cutting edge technologies to deliver a truly premium experience,” comments Kia Motors’ Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer.
The third electric vehicle design to be unveiled by Kia Motors Corporation in a year, the 3.9 metre long Naimo concept explores the practicalities of introducing a zero-emissions, five-door, four-seater city car into a future niche market. Measuring 3,890 mm in length, the Naimo’s generous wheelbase, width and height (2,647, 1,844 and 1,589 mm respectively) — plus the short overhangs which place a wheel at each corner — ensure that the cabin provides exceptional head, leg and shoulder room for the occupants. The concept car has no B-pillars and features rear-hinged rear doors to maximize easy access to the cabin, and a three-way split opening trunk, allows versatile access to the load bay for varying luggage sizes.
Power comes from a PMSM (Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor) electric motor with a maximum output of 80 kW (109 ps) and maximum torque of 280 Nm, enabling Naimo to reach a top speed of 150 kph (93 mph). A twin-pack 27 kWh battery is located under the trunk floor and uses innovative LiPoly (Lithium Ion Polymer) technology that offers numerous advantages over other battery types. Equipped with this battery, Naimo provides a driving range of 200 km (124 miles) on a single charge. To enhance range, the show car is fitted with special low-drag 20-inch diameter alloy wheels.
Under the quick recharging cycle (50 kW) the Naimo’s battery can be recharged to 80 percent of its capacity within 25 minutes. Under the normal cycle (3.3 kW), 100 percent power is attained after five and a half hours. Naimo will join Kia’s growing test fleet of hybrid, electric and fuel-cell vehicles being extensively driven in widely varying conditions to develop future production models with zero or significantly reduced emissions.