After its surprise debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in the Autumn, Kia are undoubtedly hoping for a repeat performance from their startling new GT concept at Detroit later this week (pictures to follow)
The Kia GT that will be on show at Detroit is a slightly different version to that which wowed spectators in the Autumn.
Both Kia GT concepts were designed at Kia’s European HQ in Frankfurt, and the company will be watching and comparing the reaction to this tweaked model before deciding how to proceed with their sports concept.
Renowned for their affordability, Kia greatly surprised the auto trade with their GT concept, which indicates ambitions to the higher priced part of the car market, which they have traditionally left to their parent company Hyundai.
Influenced by effortless elegance
Kia’s head of European design, Gregory Guillaume, says that the Kia GT was profoundly influenced by the GT cars of the 1970s and their effortless high speed.
Kia want it to be the car that you would choose for a smooth, flowing drive along the continent’s open motorways.
At the moment, Kia don’t have an engine to power their first sports car, but say that they are working on a 2.0 direct-injection turbocharged engine that would produce the speed and handling demanded by the concept.
One of the key elements of the Kia concept is its light weight, and they have been playing with different materials to achieve the perfect combination.
Kia proves its design chops with the GT concept, showing that the flair which has made their economic runabouts so popular is easily applied to a radically different type of car.
The Kia GT’s exterior is sleek, elegant and low-slung, with a dramatic front-end that evokes classic sports car design at its finest.
It sports sweeping coach style back doors, which have become rather controversial in discussions about the Kia GT.
However, Kia’s Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, confesses that these are really no more than ‘a tease’.
A truly unique interior
The inside of the Kia GT is dominated by beautiful, flowing organic lines that convey a refined, spare sophistication.
This design ethos is most obviously embodied in the Kia’s unusual one-piece copper seats, and extends to the unique glass instrument panel.
But will it ever make it to production?
As with all concept cars, the Kia GT is not guaranteed to make it into production, but in this case the debate seems particularly fierce within the company itself.
An unnamed senior source from within the Korean company says that Kia are not as far away from producing a sports car.
But Schreyer is much more circumspect about the GT’s prospects, although he does say he would buy champagne for everyone in the company if it did go into production.
The Kia GT is part of the company’s continuing innovation, which includes Korea’s first mass production electric car.
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