Are you ready for for the car crossbreeds?
CONSIDER them the automotive version of a Labradoodle (Labrador + Poodle), Bullmation (Bulldog + Dalmatian) or a Cheagle (Chihuahua + Beagle). Ford is promising a Mustang-inspired crossover, so could that lead to a Rangtang (Ranger + Mustang), or a Commonox (Holden Commodore + Equinox), or maybe a Hilolla (Toyota HiLux + Corolla)?
Car crossbreds are only just beginning, according to one of the world's leading auto designers.
Kia Design Center Europe chief Gregory Guillaume believes the popularity of sports utility vehicles and crossovers will continue at pace.
He has seen the transformation in Europe, which like many countries including Australia, has embraced the SUV phenomenon.
We've already seen luxury marques like BMW and Mercedes-Benz blend coupe and SUV genres via vehicles like the X6/X4 pairing and the GLC Coupe.
Guillaume says people don't want a standard car like everyone has experienced in the past 30 years.
Kia chief global designer Peter Schreyer understands the reasoning behind the shift to SUVs.
"You have the high seating position, you have space, it makes you feel safe. That makes sense," he said.
With the face-paced move to alternative fuels come new opportunity. And both Schreyer and Guillaume are excited about design of the future.
"Stinger has the wonderful advantage of using this technical layout with the front mid-engined rear wheel drive which gives it this proportion. It's magic when we have that and we usually don't have it on normal cars," Guillaume says.
"When you have platforms that are built for electric only, you are free of that."
Many manufacturers are looking to various transport options for the future.
At this month's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Toyota took the wraps off its e-Palette fully-automated battery electric concept vehicle.
The Toyota concept varies in lengths of between four to seven metres, depending with a cube design that features a flat interior with a low floor.
Yet Kia is working on mobility solutions too, and Schreyer says just because vehicles are becoming autonomous doesn't mean they will be boring.
"It doesn't need to be a box. It could be a bowl, or something with character," he said.
"The London taxi is a very practical car as a taxi but it has a lot of character. A mobility solution could still have character to it."
He pointed to the Pop electric car concept revealed in 2010 to show electric cars could also be exciting.
"Why does it need to be boring. Why should we give up? When you build a house it also follows some purposes but is has different furniture and different character depending on the person," Schreyer said.