A video by Team-BHP confirms that the local road trials of the production Kia SP concept have commenced. Kia Motors India has confirmed the launch of the SUV in the second half of 2019, and that is it not ready yet to reveal its name. As construction of the plant is ahead of schedule, some reports point to the product unveil and name announcement in April 2019.
The front-end stays true to that of the Kia SP Concept. It features an upright tiger nose grille, a wide air-dam, and sleek LED headlights. A look at the side profile reveals the new SUV's squarish wheel arches, five-spoke alloy wheels, ORVMs with turn indicators, and a rising beltline. In spite of the congruity, the DLO of the final version is not as sleek as that of the show car.
Underpinning the Kia SP will be the platform that will form the base of the next-gen Hyundai Creta. The modern platform will offer enough flexibility to accommodate a seven-seat SUV, which means the company can think of a larger SUV depending on how the first launches are accepted.
Powering the production Kia SP Concept will be a new 1.5-litre oil burner and a 1.0-litre T-GDI turbo-petrol motor. The former will produce a maximum power of 115 hp, while the latter outputs a peak power of 118 hp. India is unlikely to receive an AWD version.
At the moment, Kia Motors India is busy setting up its first production facility at Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh. Trial production of the Kia SP Concept-based SUV will reportedly commence in early-2019. The new plant will offer an annual production capacity of 3 lakh vehicles.
The Kia SUV heads into the segment that has the Tata Harrier, Hyundai Creta, Mahindra Scorpio and the Nissan Kicks. Prices are likely to start around INR 10 lakh (ex-showroom). The second product from Kia Motors India will be a Maruti Vitara Brezza-rivaling sub-4 metre SUV a year after the SP.