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Schreyer, who is widely known for his design contributions to the Audi TT model, became the chief design officer at Kia Motors in 2006. Kia’s automobiles haven’t looked the same since then — in a good way.
In a recent video, Peter Schreyer explains the design behind the new Kia K9 rear-wheel drive luxury sedan. This is the Korean automaker’s first rear-wheel drive luxury sedan that will be built on the same platform as the Hyundai Genesis sedan and Equus models.
Watch the video of Peter Schreyer sketching the Kia K9 after the break.
Kia design boss Peter Schreyer took Automotive News reporter Ryan Beene on a tour of the Los Angeles Auto Show, outlining his favorite designs of the show floor.
The big winners for Schreyer were the Range Rover Evoque (“If it wasn’t labeled a Range Rover, you’d recognize it as one”), the Porsche 911 and the Mazda MX-5 (with Schreyer stating he’d “…love to have a car like that for Kia…).
Shcreyer also discussed how styling cues were propagating across numerous manufacturers (such as the beltline of the Mercedes CL becoming ubiquitous) and how SUVs were becoming more car-like (describing the Honda CR-V, for example, as “…more harmonized and not so aggressive.”)
Of all the vehicles though, Schreyer seemed to love the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG the most. He described it to Beene as “…the most ‘Mercedes’ Mercedes.”
[Source: Automotive News]
Kia‘s heart-stoppingly cool GT concept was was powered by a 3.3L turbo V6 packing 400 horsepower – but the production version might not get such an exotic powertrain.
Speaking with Auto Express, Kia styling boss Peter Schreyer said that “I think done in the right way, with a smaller engine or hybrid technology, it would work,” he said. “It would still be fast, but return good fuel economy, too.”
Screyer said that the GT is aiming for the German coupe set, which we can assume as being the BMW 3-Series and Audi A5. Schreyer also described the GT as Kia’s “halo car”.
It began as an idea back in 2010 when Peter Scheyer, Kia’s Chief Design Officer and European Styling Chief Gregory Guillame, looked to building a concept in the spirit of the great European luxury Gran Turismos from the 1960s and early ’70s.
“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,” said Schreyer, who also added that the classic, front engined, rear-drive sports sedan has unique appeal, not for just a Korean audience, but Europeans and Americans as well.
A key directive during the concept’s development was that the car be unmistakable for anything but a classic, front engined, rear-drive GT. Aeronautical themes are also popular as was the use of copper on components such as the brake discs and greenhouse trim; in the latter’s case running all the way from the front A-pillars to the edge of the back light.
Inside, a spacious cabin sports several ‘floating’ features including the seats, which incorporate a ‘buffed’ leather surface to aid driver and passenger comfort, while a trio of LED layers for the instrument panel results in a 3 D effect, that helps free up the center console from the usual secondary control clutter.
Powered by a 395 horsepower 3.3-liter Lambda direct-injection gas engine coupled with an eight speed automatic, Schreyer believes that as well as being a serious performance piece, the GT 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,” he said. “It felt good to be working on a car that could roll down the road tomorrow. It would be a dream to put this into production – not only does it have a logical layout, with four seats, and good luggage space; it’s also engaging and dynamic and makes a strong statement. It’s exactly the kind of car Kia should be making.”
GALLERY: Kia GT Concept
Watch video of the Kia GT Concept from its Frankfurt reveal after the jump:
Kia Motors is one of the big winners at the first ever Automotive Brand Contest which was organized by the German Design Council. The judge panel declared Kia Motors the worthy winner in four categories. Three kia models were picked as winners for the exterior category, including the compact Sportage SUV, the forthcoming Rio (on sale from September 2011) and the all new Kia Optima (above). Kia was also ranked ‘Best of Best’ in the brand design category, where strategy and focus of the brand’s overall design is rated.
Peter Schreyer, Kia’s chief designer said, “We are all exceedingly proud that Kia Motors has done so well in this new competition, which is very important within the automotive industry. By changing our basic design focus, we have given our brand a face, a distinctive identity.“
One of the rising stars of the automotive industry has got to be Kia. The Korean automaker’s beautiful designs combined with good powertrains and affordable pricing has got the attention of many customers and hence their sales numbers are continually climbing.
While their current line-up has sedans, hatchbacks, SUVs, crossovers and even a sporty little coupe, they currently don’t offer a convertible.
However, Kia’s vice-president of sales Tom Loveless said at a recent event in California, that the brand is looking at a halo vehicle and will most probably be a convertible.
The idea is being pushed by Peter Schreyer, Kia’s chief designer, who used to work for Audi and designed cars like the original TT coupe and roadster. A convertible Kia could bring this brand some extra attention.
If this project goes ahead remains to be seen, but it won’t be the first production Kia convertible. Back in the mid-1990′s Kia had got the license to reproduce the Lotus Elan (see picture). It was primarily offered in the Asian market and stayed in production for three-years.
The new roadster will be done completely by Kia and given how nice their regular cars are, we can’t wait to see what they would do for their star car.
[Source: Kicking Tires]
Kia will build a wagon version of the newly unveiled Optima sedan for the European market and is considering a Coupe. In an interview with the U.K.’s AutoCar, top Kia designer Peter Schreyer confirmed the wagon (or Estate as its likely to be called in Europe) and hinted at a coupe.
“I would love to do station wagon and coupé versions of the car. The station wagon would only really work for Europe but the coupé would work in the U.S.,” he said.
A coupe model wouldn’t be as surprising as it seems at first, as the car would have competition from the likes of the Honda Accord Coupe and Nissan Altima Coupe. And with Kia announcing a new 274-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine in the sedan at the New York Auto Show, it would definitely make for an attractive package.
And with Kia and Hyundai sharing platform, does this mean a Sonata Coupe and Wagon are on their way too?
GALLERY: 2011 Kia Optima
Kia has just released a selection of photos of the all-new 2011 Optima (known as the Magentis in some markets), ahead of the car’s world premiere at the New York Auto Show. Simply put, it’s stunning, looking like a more premium German model with a touch of Ford Taurus muscle.
This new model is longer, lower and wider than the predecessor, which should result in a more comfortable ride, better handling and more interior room. Based on the same platform as the newly released Hyundai Sonata, the Optima doesn’t have quite the coupe-like look, with a rather high Lexus IS-like rear end. It features Kia’s “tiger” front end design with a flat nose and large grille, while LED lights are used on the bumper.
While no powertrain info has been provided, it’s safe to assume that much like the Sonata (reviewed here), it will receive a GDI (gasoline direct injection) 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with 198-hp and a six-speed transmission. In the Sonata that engine gets 22/35 mpg (city/highway). With Hyundai set to unveil a 250-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged Sonata and a Hybrid at the NY show, it’s likely that Kia will do the same either in NY or soon after.
Kia claims the new Optima will have class-leading safety and luxury equipment.
“It’s a car that people will simply not expect from Kia – and that’s exactly what we set out to achieve,” says Peter Schreyer, Kia’s Chief Design Officer. “The Optima embodies Kia’s confident new design direction. It’s a global car with individual appeal.”
AutoGuide will be on hand in New York for the official debut, with live coverage starting March 31st.
GALLERY: 2011 Kia Optima (Magentis)
Official release after the jump:
Kia is considering getting into the entry-level rear-drive sports car game with a new model that would likely be based on the architecture of the Genesis Coupe from sister company Hyundai. In an interview with the U.K.’s AutoCar, Kia design boss Peter Schreyer said while the model isn’t in the company’s product plan for the next two years it is something that he’d like to see. Schreyer warned, however, that as Kia is still an emerging company it would have to make a water-tight business car for the vehicle and not just build it for fun.
“We are not like Audi or Porsche,” he said. “We are not in a position to just create something and then announce to the market that it’s the perfect kind of sports car.”
With the cars design likely inspired by the Kee Concept (above), Schreyer said that, “it would be important for the Kee to be rear-wheel drive. And there is, of course, already a rear-driven platform within the Hyundai-Kia group that we could look to use, if our timing was good.” That platform is, of course, the Genesis Coupe’s.
Schreyer did say that such a vehicle would compete against cars like the Mazda MX-5 Miata and Toyota’s new rear drive model. Recent rumors have suggested that both Volkswagen and Nissan are investigating this marketplace as well.
“The car would not need to be very fast or very powerful,” he said, “but it should be compact, affordable and fun – a true sports car.”
If the project does go ahead, look for a rear-drive Kia sports car to debut before the current Genesis Coupe gets a remodel some time around 2013.
GALLERY: Kia Kee Concept
During a design conference last week in Seoul, Korea, Kia’s top designer showed the above sketch which is believed to be the company’s first full-fledged entry into the rear-drive luxury segment. Referred to as K9, this sketch is thought to foreshadow a concept car that will eventually make its way to production, based on the same architecture at Hyundai’s Genesis sedan.
The man who unveiled this sketch is none other than Peter Schreyer, who now heads up Kia’s design team and is known for such revolutionary vehicles as the original Audi TT.
Kia has made known plans to develop a Genesis sister car, code named CH, which will hit the market in 2011. The Genesis Sedan, coincidentally, was code named BH. We would expect the car to come with both Genesis engines, including the impressive 385-hp Tau V8.
Recently Kia unveiled its newest model, the Cadenza, which will replace the Amanti. It was suggested that the Cadenza might run on the G Sedan’s RWD architecture, but upon the car’s debut Kia confirmed it will say FWD. This most certainly leaves room for a RWD luxury car in the Korean automaker’s lineup.
GALLERY: Kia K9 Design Sketch
Flagship Kia sedan rides on all-new front-drive architecture
Just unveiled in its domestic market of South Korea, the all-new Kia Cadenza is set to be introduced throughout several markets in the months to come, including in the U.S. where it will replace the Amanti.
Contrary to speculation the car does not ride on the Genesis sedan’s rear-drive architecture (sigh…) but rather on an all-new front-drive platform, which Kia says it will use in additional models in the future. The new platform, along with lighter suspension components, will help the car to weight roughly 287 lbs less than the old Amanti. The new vehicle is slightly shorter than the outgoing one, but Kia says the wheelbase has increased to 112-inches, which should afford some extra interior room.
Several engines will be offered, but we expect that once the car debuts in North America it will come with the top-level 3.5-liter V6 with 286-hp and 249 ft-lbs of torque. Kia claims a 0-62 mph time of 7.2 seconds and an average fuel economy rating of 25 mpg.
“With the Cadenza, we have created an all-new, large sedan that will revitalize Kia’s fortunes thanks to its exciting appearance, strong performance and luxurious cabin which will guarantee a much broader consumer appeal, attracting thousands of new customers to our brand,” said Kia Motors President Hyoung-Keun Lee.
The automaker’s top designer Peter Schreyer had this to say, “Our new sedan looks masculine and luxurious. Today, people recognize a Kia at first sight: well balanced proportions, flowing greenhouse and dynamic window graphic plus the big wheels, give this car its confident stance, dignity and elegant personality. The distinctive ‘tiger nose’ front with its signature grille and headlights are evidence of Kia’s new self-confidence. Kia Cadenza is a big step into the future – another quantum leap for Kia.”
The Cadenza is set to launch in North America, however, Kia’s North American operations have not given a timeline for the car’s debut.
GALLERY: Kia Cadenza
Official release after the jump: