Kia Pop

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What Car? Staff
29 September 2010

Kia Pop

Small is beautiful these days, and the electric Kia Pop is certainly cute.

Making its world debut at the Paris motor show, the Pop is a teeny bit longer than a Toyota IQ, at a little more than three metres from its neat nose to its tidy toosh, but stops short of trying to offer seating for four.

The Toyota can't really accommodate four, unless two of them are small children, so the Kia's arrangement - two seats up front and one behind - is intriguing. The passenger in the back gets a kind of taxi-style jump seat to stretch out on, too.

The exterior design follows on from the Ray plug-in hybrid concept model in places, and like that car it's clearly more of a flight of fancy than the near-finished basis for a new model.

A sub-Picanto urban runaround would certainly be a touch more conservative than the Pop, which has radically slanted full-length side windows that open 'butterfly' fashion upwards and out. They're not quite gullwing doors, but they still don't look particularly practical for the local multi-storey car park.

The Pop looks cool, though, and the powertrain is also a tempting prospect. With 18kWh worth of li-ion batteries on board, the 50kW electric motor gives the car a range of around 100 miles.

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When can I get one?
Kia hasn't laid out any timetable for the launch of an electric car, but the momentum is building and it's got amazingly ambitious plans to become the world's biggest provider of fuel-cell cars by 2015.