The famous SUV manufactured in Žilina has a heir. But don’t rejoice. “Little Sorento” is only for the Chinese market.
When you see the new Chinese Sportage Ace, you can’t miss the new Kiu Sorento. It takes off-road style and a vertically positioned mask. Author: Kia
Kia Sportage was born in 1993. Since then, four generations have come to market. The third was produced in 2007 at the new European Kie plant in Žilina and in 2015 the current fourth generation followed the same assembly lines. Five years have passed, so it’s no surprise that Kia is working on the next generation. It should appear in the following. Europe is not the whole world, so we have a new Sportage with the Ace attribute, which debuted in the Canton of China. Is it really the new generation of Sportage?
Not at all, because this version doesn’t go to Europe. Sportage Ace is, in fact, the successor to China’s Sportage, which has been sold in the UK since 2018 and was only a derivative of the Hyundaia ix35. On the other hand, the novelty already has all the characteristics of the current Ki. The design of this 4,530mm long SUV is reminiscent of the hot new Kie – the great Sorento. It has a similarly designed vertical mask and off-road proportions. However, the typical “tiger” nose is enriched with a kind of “invisible” kind of light, hidden in the mask structure, similar to the competing Tucson.
The pre-production item on display combines road tires with the GT Line sports package. It seems pretty unusual. Author: Kia
The vertical taillights are inspired by Kie’s largest workshop SUV – the American Telluride. This way, Sportage Ace would not be lost in Europe either. However, Kiak has not entered anyone yet. But even in this case there is no doubt about modern infotainment, as Chinese customers will suffer. A 1.5-cylinder 4 T-GDI with an overloaded 1.5 T-GDI should appear under the hood. The rough appearance of the pre-production tires shown and the off-road tread pattern suggest that Sportage Ace will not give up on a two-axle driver.
The GT Line designation only confirms that Kia is also taking advantage of its strategy to offer sports derivatives in China. It’s a guess as to what European Sportage will look like. But according to photos of the disguised prototypes that appeared on the Internet, not at first. The European Sportage will probably prefer more elegant and aerodynamic shapes, which will help it more easily meet very strict emission standards. Extensive electrification will also help. Let’s also remember that Sportage, as we know it from Europe, also sells Kia in China, albeit with a modified mask and under the name KX5.
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