Kia's previewing the future design direction for the brand, and a further move upmarket, with the Cross GT Concept being shown at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show.

While just a concept, Kia tells us this Cross GT shows the brand's interest in potentially offering a larger premium crossover. Based on the GT Concept's platform, the wheelbase is long with short front and rear overhangs. It has a wide stance, and is larger than the current Sorento.

We like the blunt front end and swept back headlights. Kia's shark-nose grille sits above a sculpted front bumper, and out back LED taillights create a signature look at night. The tailgate has a clam shell design, and the roof features hexagonal glass inserts.

Inside the Cross GT features Almond-Terra-colored leather bucket seats with contrasting stitching. Re-harvested American Walnut wood sweeps across the instrument panel, and 100-percent eco-friendly wool felt is used throughout the cabin. The climate control, telematics, and infotainment systems are all accessed through a touch screen and central mouse control, which helps keep the driver's hands on the wheel.

In the rear seat, passengers have full access to the Internet, and there are screens mounted in the back of each of the front-seat headrests.

The Cross GT Concept is powered by a new hybrid drivetrain, with a 3.8-liter V-6 engine connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission. This evolution of Kia's current hybrid system sandwiches an electric motor between the gasoline engine and transmission. Combined, the gasoline engine and electric motor is rated at 400 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. Kia says this setup is good for 20 miles of all-electric range. Power is handled by torque-vectoring all-wheel drive.

Kia is quick to note that while this hybrid powertrain is merely a concept, it's interesting to think of the possibilities of an all-wheel drive hybrid with this amount of power--as well as the possibility of what production vehicle Kia might have in mind with the Cross GT. For now, we'll have to wait and see.

For all the latest news from the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, be sure to check our hub here.

Kia Cross GT Concept

Kia Cross GT Concept