Kia sports coupe conceptWed, 18 Jul 2007 00:00:00 -0700
By Tim Pollard
First Official Pictures
18 July 2007 09:15
Kia sports coupe concept: the first glimpse
Do you detect hints of Audi TT about this low-slung sports car concept? Maybe you should, because it’s the shape of Kias to come and was designed by Peter Schreyer, the Koreans’ new design director and former head of design at Audi. It’s being hailed as a landmark car for Kia, and we’d say that for once the PR puff is spot-on. Make no mistake, this car is a line in the sand for Kia. The unnamed sports coupe concept will be shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Only this shadowy teaser pic has been released so far, but we know it’s a 2+2 tin-top around 4500mm long. We hear that ‘it’s pointing to a production version’, available with both front- and four-wheel drive. All sounds far removed from Kias of old. It was as recently as 1991 that the budget brand arrived in the UK with the likes of the white-tyred Pride. Fast forward 16 years and it looks like Kia is finally about to get serious in Europe. We’ve already had the Golf clone Cee’d hatchback and Schreyer’s first design was the Excee’d cabrio concept, itself destined for production. Such slick quality at bargain prices and backed up with seven-year warranties helps explain why Kia sales have doubled to 1.3 million in the past 10 years. And it’s now targeting 2 million by the start of the next decade. Schreyer said: ‘Kia has given me the opportunity to shape its whole brand design and character. Seldom does a designer have such a clean sheet to work with. We started this exciting journey with the Kia Excee’d cabrio concept at the Geneva show back in March, and at Frankfurt I’m sure Kia will surprise the entire automotive world when people see our new sports coupe concept in the metal.’ Teaser pictures can be annoyingly short on information and Kia’s is no different. But here at CAR Online we can’t wait to see the full picture. We’ll have the complete story in the coming weeks.
By Tim Pollard