Today and thanks to our Instagram follower gracias_tl_ we can share the first spy pictures of what looks like to be the 4th generation Kia Sportage, codenamed as NQ4. Our follower captured two prototypes on the road, one of them looks like a long wheel base version, that could be the Chinese version (read more below).
What we know so far?
As we have advanced on Kia’s Product Plan Schedule for 2020, all models announced on it were already released (Bongo 3 EV, Sorento & Sorento HEV or Sedona-Carnival) but this is the first time we have spied the Sportage NQ4. Despite we said NQ5, we contacted our industry sources and confirmed will be NQ4 as Kia didn’t count the one before Hyundai Motor Group’s stage. So there’s KM, SL, QL (the current one) and now NQ4.
According to the latest reports about the 5th generation Sportage, back in December 2019, Kia Motors was already developing a new iteraction of its sporty SUV with two bodies, so that means includes a long-wheel base version that will expands the interior space by increasing the existing short body, wheel base and rear overhang.
Initially, Kia Motors expected to launch long body versions of the new Sportage in major markets including South Korea and Europe. This is attributable to Kia’s recent efforts to secure a full range of SUV products, diversification of products due to the weakening of the semi-mid-size SUV market, and expectations of the revival of the first-generation Sportage Grand (Longbody) after 20 years (pictured below).
So back in the article, the real thing is there’s not any picture or information yet of the next-gen Sportage prototype (despite what we are telling you now) and should be already testing in the road, like the Tucson (spied for the first time in July 2019 and to be released in August 2020) and this is the first time we can see, still on stage 1 (without production taillights).
So at that time, we surfed the korean forums in order to get some info and we discovered at Bobaedream, that an user said the new Sportage is delayed due to a change in design, and now rescheduled to mid 2021. Could be this design change the reason of Luc Donckerwolke’s resign at Hyundai Motor Group? This is an assumption or could be one of the reasons of this decision. Remember that Sportage is a vehicle that sells 500,000 units per year, so we are talking about a lot of money.
I remember a story related to the development of current Sportage QL, where each country held a visit at R&D Center in Namyang, South Korea to meet the “QL” before the launch and share their thoughts in front of Peter Schereyer. After the success of the 3rd generation or “SL”, all of this people representing each markets said it was awful and Peter said he designed the car that way and nobody will change it. So who knows if this time Luc didn’t have that much power.