Station wagons have long-since fallen out of favour in North America, their popularity usurped first by minivans, then by SUVs.
But they've remained popular in Europe where driving dynamics, as well as practicality and flexibility, tend to be more appreciated. They're not called station wagons there, however, going by the more sophisticated label, Estate.
It's against that background that Kia Motors Europe will unveil a new concept called the Sportspace, at the 85thSalon International de l’Automobile in Geneva on March 3, 2015.
Kia says the Sportspace has been designed for fast and efficient travel over long distances, "with maximum comfort and minimal stress, in the best grand touring tradition of the weekend getaway."
Designed at Kia’s Frankfurt design studio, under the direction of Gregory Guillaume, chief designer for Europe, its mandate is to provide stylish and exciting transportation for four that is also spacious and functional.
“We set out to design a car that is a totally new breed of grand tourer – one for active people who need reasonable cargo space on the weekend, but don’t want to compromise moving around in style, comfort and with an element of sportiness,” said Guillaume.
It may be just a styling exercise but it could also be a warning shot across the bows of BMW and Mercedes-Benz that Kia has designs on the luxury Estate market – at least in Europe.
Even if that's the case, given the public's lack of enthusiasm for wagons here, it's unlikely that we would see the car in North America. Pity!