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Kia KV7 concept (photos)

For its concept at the 2011 Detroit auto show, Kia unveiled what it called a minivan, a truck-like vehicle with a loungey passenger area, complete with a tabletop computer in back.

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Wayne Cunningham

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1 of 8 Josh Miller/CNET
For the KV7 concept, Kia designers decided to embrace the essential boxiness of minivans, and so gave the vehicle a vertical grille and windshield. Kia refers to this element as bringing SUV qualities to the minivan, or "activity van," as it has dubbed the KV7.

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2 of 8 Josh Miller/CNET
Kia specifies its turbocharged direct-injection 2-liter engine to power the KV7, giving it 285 horsepower, about typical for a standard minivan. The front headlight design is probably not practical, as there is no central LED.

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3 of 8 Josh Miller/CNET
Kia boasts that its Soul and Forte models came to production looking very close to their concepts, possibly hinting that it has a production plan for the KV7. In reality, it does not look terribly different from the Ford Flex.

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Rather than a family wagon, Kia describes the intended buyer for the KV7 as a "ringleader," someone who organizes camping trips and other outings among friends.

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Despite designing an essential nonsporty exterior, this wheel has the flat bottom often seen in sports cars. The arrangement of the stereo and cruise control buttons on the steering-wheel spokes would be something Kia could bring to a production car.

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6 of 8 Kia
Kia designed the entire dashboard to recess when the car is turned off, making egress easy. When the driver hits the start button, the dashboard motors out 6 inches.

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7 of 8 Josh Miller/CNET
The rear features a wood floor, a lounge on the right, and pod seats on the left. The seats are designed to swivel, making for a conversational space.

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8 of 8 Josh Miller/CNET
This table is actual a tabletop computer. Kia envisions the car having an Internet connection and working as a Wi-Fi hot spot.

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