Kia has officially unveiled its rear-wheel-drive concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It’s a striking machine with some styling cues taken from the muscle car era of the 1960s and 1970s.
The Kia GT is another example of the Korean brand’s new design-led direction and hints at its next generation of cars. The our-door sports sedan draws inspiration from the Kia Kee concept car, first shown at the same event in 2007.
“At the onset of this project,” says 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.”
The 4.690 mm long and 1.890 mm wide concept car has a front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout and is given different proportions compared to a front-wheel drive car.
The front doors and rear-hinged back doors open at a slight upward angle for easy access to the cabin. Inside there is space for four occupants.
Rather than going with the widely expected V8, the GT concept is powered by a 3.3L T-GDI turbocharged, direct injection engine that delivers 295kW (395hp) of peak power and 535Nm of torque, matched to an all-new 8-speed automatic transmission.
With a focus on dynamism, the Kia GT makes use of aeronautical themes in its design, including the multi-piece propeller-style alloy and carbon-fibre wheels, the jet-themed rear-view cameras and the low-slung front air intake. There’s also aerodynamically efficient rear diffuser and winglets that curve in from the front flanks and flow into the headlamps.
Kia Motors Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer believes this concept is less about design specifics and more about a general feeling of stance, proportion and balance – elements that will influence and guide his design team’s approach to their next project.
“One of the great things about working on this project was that this is a very real car,” says Schreyer. “It felt good to be working on a car that could roll down the road tomorrow. Yes, 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. It’s exactly the kind of car Kia should be making.”
Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand says the GT concept will further lift the image and profile of the Kia brand, establishing it as a leader in automotive design and technology. He also believes the interesting choice of a smaller size V6 engine is entirely in keeping with the strong environmental approach of Kia Motors, underlined by its EcoDynamics green brand initiatives.
“We’ve seen Kia make a strong case for improved sustainability through EcoDynamics by developing smaller, cleaner and more fuel efficient engines that deliver strong performance and the Kia GT is entirely consistent with that approach – it says a lot about the Kia brand going forward,” says Mr McDonald.