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2020 Kia Seltos unveiled for global markets

Will we see it in America?

Kia held an event in Delhi, India, to introduce a compact crossover named Seltos that was designed with global markets in mind. The model is positioned at the bottom of the company's growing crossover and SUV line-up, and it's scheduled to reach showrooms before the end of 2019. Whether we'll see it in American showrooms as a 2020 model is up in the air.

The South Korean firm explained the name Seltos comes from Greek mythology. Celtos is the son of Hercules. The company replaced the c with an s to imply speed and sportiness. These terms are relative; don't expect the Seltos to set a lap record at Laguna Seca, or to out-perform a Porsche 718 Cayman on a slalom course.

The Seltos wears a tall, upright front end characterized by a wide rendition of the company's trade-marked tiger nose grille. Horizontal lines present on both ends of the crossover emphasize the sense of width and make it look bigger than it actually is. The model was designed for tech-savvy millennials, according to Kia, so it's available with a 10.25-inch screen for the infotainment system, and a head-up display. Users can customize the infotainment screen and view up to three menus at the same time thanks to a split-screen function.

Ambient lighting is available, which is hardly unusual in 2019. However, Kia's system -- called Sound Mood Lighting -- pulses to the beat of the music through 3D-patterned surfaces in the door panels. The firm hasn't released interior photos.

Globally, the powertrain line-up includes a 1.6-liter turbodiesel rated at 136 horsepower, a naturally-aspirated, 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 149 horsepower, and a 177-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbo four. Gearbox options consist of a continuously variable transmission (CVT), a six-speed automatic, and a seven-speed dual-clutch. It doesn't sound like a manual transmission is offered. We assume the Seltos is front-wheel drive; Kia hasn't said anything about offering all-wheel drive.

The 2020 Kia Seltos will be made in India and in South Korea. Sales will begin before the end of 2019. Kia has remained quiet about the possibility of an American-spec model, but we'll learn more details in the coming months.

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