Kia may be billed as a youthful and ‘fun’ brand, but one thing it has no plans to offer along these lines is a mainstream two-door coupe or hatch. Two of its top designers this week said such a product was definitively off the radar.
Case in point is the new ProCeed ‘Shooting Brake’ wagon launched in Paris this week to replace the pro_cee’d three-door. Head designer of Kia Europe, Gregory Guillaume, told the tale of how the car was axed, then revived once two extra doors were added.
“We were just about to start the new ProCeed, and the product guys said to us, ‘the ProCeed is dead, we’re not doing another one'…” he told CarAdvice.
“And you can imagine the faces of the guys on the team… because the segment was just disappearing in Europe, three-door hatches were just not there anymore.
“We had really a moment of crisis in design, we thought we can’t just let that disappear…. So it’s up to us to find the answer that is valid today to carry on the same values.”
Giullaume said he set his designers the challenge of making a new sporty product that would get the internal tick of approval. “Just don’t give me a three-door anymore, because they’ll axe that immediately,” he told them.
“Out of a moment of crisis we came up with an interesting answer.”
Interesting, maybe. But wildly different. We also talked with Peter Schreyer, who runs design for Hyundai and Kia, and penned the original Audi TT, one of the most iconic three-doors of all, about whether a sporty coupe like this one had legs for Kia these days.
Pictured: The original Stinger concept was a coupe...
“I don’t know if a performance coupe is something that is [good]… we have Stinger, which is a four-door coupe… I don’t know if a two-door really makes sense. It may make sense if it were an EV, an emotional electric car…
“... We still can be very emotional, but a performance coupe, I’m not sure if it’s at this time the right thing to do. If we would make Stinger with two doors, it would be easy, but how much market share would it have? That’s the question…”
The general trend there is Kia’s clear idea that a three-door isn’t viable. Is that a shame? Tell us below.
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