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Car and Driver: Kia Sportage Dressed Up for “X-Men: Apocalypse” Is Itself an Apocalypse

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Kia Sportage X-Men


Marketing is a powerful tool; wielded properly, it can turn out classic ads and lasting impressions like VW’s 1960 “Lemon” spot for the Beetle, or BMW’s “Ultimate Driving Machine.” Wielded with less precision, it can create something like this Kia Sportage dressed for promotional purposes. Make that cross-promotional purposes. The car’s styling (technically, that’s what it is) is modeled after X-Men villain Mystique, who is featured in the upcoming film X-Men: Apocalypse, only the car is being deployed to show off Kia’s sponsorship of the Australian Open 2016 tennis championship. Got that?


Kia Sportage X-Men


Heretofore, shape-shifting comic-book supervillains and tennis have existed as two distinct entities, but Kia is bringing them together like never before. Besides adding chunky fender flares to the 2017 Sportage—an already semi-strange-looking crossover—the vehicle’s creators also added X-shaped bumper overrider elements to the nose and the tail, plus a new grille with a prominent “X” badge. Then there are the splashes of disparate colors added to the front wheels, rear wheels, roof, front bumper overriders, and door mirrors. Together, they’re as fresh as a mixture of a shape-shifting comic-book supervillain and tennis.


The profligate mix of colors is intended to emulate the fictional Mistique character, who’s typically depicted as a naked blue woman when not shape-shifting to emulate other people. Mistique’s painted-over-beaded-water surface look is echoed in the Sportage’s blue body wrap, while her yellow eyes are carried through in the yellow-tinted headlights and her red hair is mimicked by the car’s red roof and door mirrors. The dual white roof stripes don’t have to any clear connection to Mistique, but we imagine that if she were to drape two linguini noodles over her head, she’d look just like this Sportage. Kia has been turning out comic-themed concepts for a few years now. Most of them have been fairly over-the-top, but there’s hope still for this Sportage. Perhaps, just before its debut at the Australian Open, it will shape-shift back into a regular Sportage, preferably one with a body-painted Jennifer Lawrence or Rebecca Romijn inside. You know what, we’d even settle for a blue-painted beer dispenser. Kia knows a thing or two about those.


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