(continued from above)
Although work on the Kia GT concept first started in November 2010, the idea
of a powerful rear-wheel drive Kia saloon had been percolating in the minds of
Kia's European designers for some time. "This concept allows us to explore
exciting new design directions, as using a rear-drive layout creates very
different proportions compared to a front-wheel drive car," says Peter Schreyer,
Kia's Chief Design Officer. "The classic front-engined, rear-wheel drive layout
of a performance saloon has distinct appeal not just for the domestic Korean
audience, but also for the European and American markets."
"At the onset
of this project," adds Gregory Guillaume, Kia's European Design Chief, "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. We wanted to create something
similarly graceful, athletic and confident, but not aggressive or overbearing."
This focus of dynamism and pace is sharpened by the car's aeronautical
theme, headlined by the multi-piece propeller-style alloy and carbon-fiber
wheels, the jet-themed rear-view cameras, the low-slung front air intake, the
aerodynamically efficient rear diffuser and the winglets that curve in from the
front flanks and flow into the headlamps.
This particular design motif
draws inspiration from the seminal Kia Kee concept car, shown at the Frankfurt
Motor Show in 2007. Indeed, Kia GT has a strong design lineage, with a number of
central design elements that link it to last year's Pop concept and the Kee,
ensuring a high degree of visual continuity despite their divergent styles and
One of Schreyer and Guillaume's key goals was to ensure that the
car's proportions couldn't be mistaken for anything other than a rear-wheel
drive performance saloon. Hence the extended bonnet with the front wheels pushed
right to the very front of the car, the cab-rearward stance, powerful rear
shoulders and truncated rear end.
The Kia GT's silhouette accelerates
away from the A-pillar towards the rear of the car, and this impression of
athleticism is enhanced by the copper signature line that runs from the base of
the A-pillar and along the roofline to end ahead of the base of the rear
windscreen. And in a neat touch, the tick-shaped motif recalls the front
quarter-light windows of the rakish GT cars that inspired the Kia design team.
Kia GT Concept: Review (2/2)