The man responsible for reinventing Kia in the 21st century says the Kia GT Concept at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show is “exactly the kind of car Kia should be making”.
Kia chief design officer, Peter Schreyer, said the exciting rear-wheel drive performance sedan would be the perfect addition to the South Korean brand’s reinvigorated global line-up.
“It would be a dream to put this into production – it has a logical layout, with four seats, and good luggage space, and it's also engaging and dynamic and makes a strong statement,” Mr Schreyer said.
“It's exactly the kind of car Kia should be making."
Kia’s European design chief, Gregory Guillaume, said the inspiration for the GT Concept came from famous tourers of the past.
“At the onset of this project the design team was inspired by the spirit of iconic 1970s GT cars: sumptuous and elegant vehicles capable of whisking passengers from Paris to the South of France in effortless style and at high speed,” Mr Guillaume said.
“We wanted to create something similarly graceful, athletic and confident, but not aggressive or overbearing.”
The designers admit the concept has an aeronautical theme, emphasised by the propeller-style alloy/carbon fibre wheels, the jet-themed rear-view cameras, and the aerodynamically efficient low-slung front air intake and rear diffuser.
One of the key goals was to make the GT Concept unmistakably a rear-wheel drive performance sedan, and Schreyer an Guillaume achieved this by stretching the bonnet, pushing the front wheels as far forwards as possible, bulking up the rear hunches and truncating the back.
The reverse-swinging doors open up a spacious and uncluttered cabin. The four individual seats give the impression that they are floating, while the transmission tunnel has been deliberately emphasised to reinforce the GT’s performance potential.
Speaking of which, the Kia GT Concept is powered by a 3.3-litre turbocharged V6 with 290kW of power and 534Nm of torque, with an eight-speed automatic transmission transferring drive to the rear.
The glass instrument panel features three layers of LEDs, giving the display three-dimensional depth as well as the potential to provide the driver with even more information.
The centre console is free of the usual buttons and switchgear, and a large red starter button incorporates a ‘twist and go’ transmission selector for a simplified, cohesive design. The rear-view cameras replace side mirrors, with live images displayed on internal screens positioned in the driver’s line of sight.
The Kia GT Concept is all about changing the world’s perceptions of the brand and showing its potential for the future. Are you impressed? Let us know in the comments section below.