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Sportspace concept previews Kia's long, bright (red) future

Sporty and spacious, Kia's newest concept for the 2015 Geneva auto show is exactly what's said on the tin.

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Antuan Goodwin
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1 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Kia Sportspace concept

GENEVA – Kia's new Sportspace concept serves two very important purposes for the Korean automaker.

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Kia Sportspace concept

The bright red concept gives us our first look at the next generation of the Kia Optima.

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Kia Sportspace concept

It's is also an opportunity for the automaker to experiment with the wagon form factor.

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Kia Sportspace concept

True to its name, the Sportspace concept is sporty and spacious.

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Kia Sportspace concept

Large wheels feature carbon fiber inserts.

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Kia Sportspace concept

Carbon fiber trim also punctuates the rear end, highlighting the pentagonal dual exhaust tips.

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Kia Sportspace concept

Large LED tail lights are of a horizontal design and mesh well with the wagon's tidy rear end.

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Kia Sportspace concept

I'm largely a fan of the design, but this fender vent seems a bit haphazardly positioned and out of place.

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Kia Sportspace concept

The wheels enshroud large sport brakes.

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Kia Sportspace concept

The automaker's "Tiger Nose" grille shape continues to evolve and now integrates the blackened headlamp housings. Something about this angle reminds me of the VW GTI's current design.

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Kia Sportspace concept

Conceptual LED headlamps are attractively subdued, but almost certainly aren't street legal.

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Kia Sportspace concept

Inside, the Sportspace's design sort of loses the plot. The wagon features a central spine that runs from the front bumper to the rear cargo space.

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Kia Sportspace concept

On this center console, you'll find physical controls for infotainment and the shifter for the automatic gearbox.

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Kia Sportspace concept

Front controls feature a combination of knurled metal rockers and rollers, as well as a large control knob for navigating menus.

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Kia Sportspace concept

Rear passengers get their own control panel that is similar to the front bank.

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Kia Sportspace concept

The main screen is an ultra-wide display that sticks out of the dashboard like a tablet.

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Kia Sportspace concept

The flat-bottomed steering wheel has a sparse and purposeful look.

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Kia Sportspace concept

Just ahead of the wheel is the digital instrument cluster, which the driver can use to display a parts of the infotainment interface.

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Kia Sportspace concept

The rear seats don't look very Sportspacious. The central spine necessitates individual buckets rather than a 3-seat bench. This definitely won't make production.

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Kia Sportspace concept

The Sportspace concept's elongated rear end leaves a lot of room for cargo.

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Kia Sportspace concept

Wagons may not be very popular in the States, but they're a massive market for the rest of the world. Kia needs to leave its mark in this space.

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Kia Sportspace concept

Some of the Optima sedan's design cues look a bit odd on the wagon (such as the chrome accent that continues awkwardly from the top of the rear windows)

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Kia Sportspace concept

By and large, the Sportspace concept is a gorgeous concept that gets our hope high for the automaker's next move.

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Kia Sportspace concept

Under the hood, the Sportspace is powered by a turbocharged, direct injected 2.0-liter gasoline engine.

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Kia Sportspace concept

We were hoping for all-wheel drive, but the concept keeps it realistic with a front-wheel drive powertrain.

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Kia Sportspace concept

Be sure to check out the rest of CNET's coverage of the 2015 Geneva auto show.

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