This Kia Seltos Reimagined As An Electric SUV Looks Ready For The Future
It has minimalistic blue-and-white paintwork and even airless tyres!
The Kia Seltos is a popular compact SUV from a carmaker that only sells petrol and diesel cars in India. But underneath, its platform allows for both internal combustion (IC) and electrified powertrains. The digital artist behind the Instagram page Bimble Designs has now rendered the Seltos as an electric vehicle (EV) with non-pneumatic tyres that don’t need to be filled up with air.
There seems to be no structural or sheet metal difference between the EV and petrol-powered Seltos that exists in India and other countries. Yet, with its body-coloured cladding and covered-up headlamps (the eyebrow LEDs work as full-range headlights), this Kia Seltos EV has a more minimalist aesthetic.
At the front, the artist has blocked the lower part of the grille that’s just above the bumper, since EVs need less cooling than heat engines. Lower down, the blue fog lamp and bumper garnish contrast the white paint job. The grille chrome, lower window frame, wheel hubs, and side protectors are blue in modern EV fashion.
Without new alloys, the airless tyres aren’t so noticeable. But that bread-like structure is a common feature of modern-day airless tyres. Normal tyres rely on air pushing against the sidewall to support the weight of the car. The rubber sidewall flexes every time you go over a bump, and it flexes during cornering, braking and acceleration too. In an airless tyre, a sponge-like structure made of flexible composite material supports the weight of the car and absorbs bumps.
Although current designs (on sale in other countries) aren’t replacing pneumatic radials soon, airless tyres have potential to be completely puncture-proof, longer-lasting and, possibly, more eco-friendly in the future.
If this Kia Seltos EV sounds zany to you, know that it’s not so far-fetched, and Kia may see the potential in a plug-in hybrid or full-electric version of this compact SUV in the future. The platform that the Seltos is based on also underpins fully electric Korean SUVs such as the Hyundai Kona Electric and the Kia Soul EV.
A Seltos-based electric SUV surely has immense potential in developed countries with high EV adoption rates, and even in India, if it’s priced right. In fact, there have been reports in the past of an electrified Seltos, but we haven’t heard about it since. If Kia does decide to electrify the Seltos, we believe the EV could borrow the Kona’s 39.2kWh battery (good for a 452km ARAI-tested range) and 136PS/395Nm electric motor. The Kona is also available with a more powerful motor and a longer range in other countries.
Currently, the India-spec Seltos is powered by a 140PS 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine, a 115PS 1.5-litre petrol, or a 115PS 1.5-litre diesel engine. A 6-speed manual gearbox is standard, and an optional 6-speed torque converter automatic is offered with the latter two engines. In the more powerful turbo petrol version, the automatic variant has a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
This Kia Seltos EV reminds us about the luxurious Seltos Diamond Edition. In fact, those gigantic multi-spoke wheels wouldn’t look out of place on the electric version. Would you go for a zero-emission Seltos if it looked anything like this? Let us know in the comments.
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