FRANKFURT, Germany — The Kia Proceed concept is a super-stylish little wagon that previews a possible future for the C'eed and Pro_cee'd line of compact sedans and hatchbacks. It's not a particularly fancy segment, but that didn't prevent Kia's design team from pulling out the stops on the concept. The most obvious detail is the illuminated trim around the side glass, but the glamorous design touches go farther.
The most unusual is the selection of in-car aromas drivers and passengers can choose from. They're stored in three metal canisters found in a drawer in the dash. Kia added these because the company recognizes the evocative, emotional power of smells, and wanted to include those that would be seen as positives by enthusiasts. The first is one that smells like leather seats, something that would not occur naturally in the concept, as the upholstery is cloth. The second is the scent of a classic car in the garage. The third and final is the aroma of high-octane racing fuel, something that you're not going to smell this side of a Dodge Demon.
The dashboard in which these scents are stored is an impressive piece of craftsmanship. It's painted in the same deep red metallic color as the exterior, and a lot of time was spent on getting the finish right. A grand total of 90 coats of paint were applied. It also features fancy knurled aluminum knobs.
Of course, since a production version of the Proceed will be a fairly affordable compact, it's virtually guaranteed we won't see the fancy dashboard, array of scents, or the glowing window trim. But the overall styling doesn't look too over-the-top, so the production Proceed will likely share many elements from it. The various C'eed models are European-only, so there's a good chance we won't get the production version of this concept in America. But we can hope that at the very least, the next generation Forte will take inspiration from the Proceed concept. It looks good on its own, but it also would help tie more of the lineup to the halo Stinger model, which shares a lot of styling cues with the Proceed concept.