The next generation of Kia's Sportage compact SUV has been given away through a series of designs that were made for the European Union's patent office. Note however that there's a small chance that the patent images could be depicting an almost production-ready study destined for either the Geneva Salon in March or the Seoul Motor Show in April.
The reason why we're saying this is the use of some specific styling features such as the chrome trim, the tail lamp arrangement, the alloy wheel designs and the styling of the lower part of the front bumper, all of which look suspiciously conceptual (see the spy shots here).
But even so, what you're looking at here is what you'll get more or less when the 2011 Sportage arrives at the Korean automakers dealers either towards the end of the year or early 2011.
Like all Kias penned under the guiding hand of former Audi designer Peter Schreyer, the new Sportage is a much more attractive proposition than the outgoing model.
Under the bodywork, the Sorento's smaller sibling shares its hardware with the new Hyundai Tucson (called iX35 in Europe and other markets).
That said, don't expect any surprises under the hood with the North American Sportage being offered with the same 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter four cylinder engines coupled to six-speed transmissions as the Tuscon.
Likewise, the European market Sportage will get three diesels including a 115HP 1.7-liter unit, and a 2.0-liter engine with 134HP and 184HP, and two gasoline units with a displacement of 1.6-liter and 2.0-liters producing 140HP and 166HP respectively.
Source: EU Patent Office , Via: RyanoKeefe