Kia No. 3 Concept: Basic Transportation With An Aggressive Edge

Kia is a brand that is looking to distinguish itself. When the company recently unveiled the Soul, it made functionality fun and now with the debut of the No. 3 Concept at the Geneva Auto Show, the Korean manufacturer intends to make basic transportation sporty and aggressive.

Created at Kia’s Design Centre Europe, under Chief Designer Gregory Guillaume, the project involved input from all of Kia’s worldwide design departments, from Korea to California. The focus of this model, however, is on the European market.

The No. 3 MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) Concept features a long wheelbase for improved driving dynamics with massive 19-inch wheels. The body of the car has been sprayed in “RockStar Titanium Grey” paint, with white detailing. 

While the interior is a bit much with the gold seats, it looks close to what a production model might be like; and that’s the whole point. Kia plans to release a production model based on this car in Europe before the end of the year.

The most important feature of the No. 3 Concept, however, is the front fascia design. Kia says that this new design, including the grille, headlights and brand logo, will be featured across all vehicles in the Kia family in the future.

GALLERY: Kia No. 3 Concept


More on the Kia No. 3 after the jump:


Kia No 3

Urban Mobility with a Sporty Touch

Introducing a new automotive concept for the lower compact class, Kia is continuing its latest design initiative with ‘Kia No 3’ which boasts powerful proportions, dynamic lines, a modern and sophisticated interior, as well as generous, flexible freedom of space. 

This new concept brings all the features and qualities of a truly versatile multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) into the segment of urban compact models, combining up-to-date mobility with a sporty touch.  The concept car to be presented to the world for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show on 3 March 2009 is the result of a unique design language characterised by refreshing clarity and youthful, modern sportiness.

Kia No 3 impressively demonstrates the transformation of Kia Motors Corporation into a globally oriented, design-based carmaker.

The new five-door concept being launched in Geneva is the latest result of Kia’s design initiative, bringing together the design centres in Korea, in Frankfurt (Germany) and Irvine (California) as well as further offices in Tokyo and Shanghai under the leadership of Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer.  All these design centres ensure the consistent and target group-oriented design of Kia’s new cars in all segments: building the brand’s new identity!  Kia’s new design language combines appropriately designed proportions, surfaces and lines with the characteristic signature grill that will be found on all future models. 

Kia No 3 has been developed in the newly built Design Centre Europe under the guidance of Chief Designer Gregory Guillaume with a special focus on the European Market.  As a part of the company’s long-term strategy it demonstrates Kia’s self-confidence in design. 

The design of the Kia No 3 appears youthful and fresh, future-oriented and consistently clear.  Powerful proportions and dynamic lines give the car a strikingly sporty appearance.  The long wheelbase and short overhangs front and rear, together with generous head room, provide all the features and qualities typical of an MPV.  The comfort of ample dimensions, as well as the economic use of the available space are ensured by the ergonomically ideal, slightly elevated seating position.  The split rear seats are adjustable, independently sliding and foldable. 

Compact sportiness and versatile space are two fundamental features that give this unusual five-door a very special look and character, that is truly unique.  The consistent colour and materials concept, innovative interior solutions and sophisticated details create the perfectly balanced overall appearance, making Kia No 3 the forerunner of the production car to be launched later this year.

Given all these qualities, Kia No 3 stands out not only through its diversity of ideas and details, but also through its holistic design concept.

New design language highlighting the characteristic ´face of Kia´ 

Kia No 3 offers an innovative symbiosis of spirit and practical value, manifesting the image of the brand and Kia’s new design philosophy that will extend beyond the segment of compact cars. 

The front of the car with its characteristic face and signature grille has been further evolved and developed, demonstrating the clear handwriting of Kia’s Design Team.  Kia No 3 is characterised by the typical arrangement and design of the radiator grille, headlights, and brand logo.  Especially the horizontally aligned radiator grille takes on a leading role, boasting the double trapezoid contours absolutely unmistakable on all models within the Kia range.  The generously proportioned headlights extend far into the side section of the car giving the entire front a particularly appealing, open-minded look.  

The Kia brand logo is arranged in a prominent position above the radiator grille.  As a solitary element, it adds a great symbolic value for the brand identity.

All future Kia models will assimilate this distinctive combination of the three elements – the radiator grille, headlights, and brand logo.  The headlights and the radiator grille will vary in their size and geometry depending on the type of vehicle and its market segment, giving each Kia model the same characteristic ´face´. 

Exterior design: lifestyle instead of uniformity

Kia No 3 features the characteristics of the visionary trendsetter and the up-to-date qualities of the family-oriented all-rounder perfectly equipped to generate fresh momentum for urban mobility.  It clearly demonstrates Kia’s brand character – young, future-oriented, emotional, and individual. 

Measuring 4,045 mm in length, Kia No 3 takes on a strong and self-confident role in the compact segment.  Its generous interior space is determined above all by the long wheelbase of 2,615 mm, the vehicle’s width of 1,760 mm, as well as its height of 1,600 mm. 

The pleasant feeling of space results not so much from the sheer height of the car, but also rather from the long wheelbase benefiting the occupants’ seating position and driving comfort, as well as the exceptional width of Kia No 3.

White is the new chrome

The extremely short overhangs emphasise the compact exterior dimensions of the car, while powerfully designed bumpers and large wheel arches as well as extra-large wheels accentuate the sporty look and appearance.  The smooth play of colours ranging from surfaces finished consistently in piano-black to contour lines in high-gloss white provides particularly powerful highlights.  These details as well as the dynamic lines of the new concept car are highlighted most clearly through the matt ‘RockStar’ Titanium Grey paintwork.  The modern industrial look of the car adds a touch of extravagance and underlines the unique character of quality so typical of Kia No 3. 

Front view: new signature grille and innovative headlights 

Sporty, self-confident, appealing – the face of Kia No 3 simply exudes power.  The slender radiator grille in high-gloss piano-black finish is accentuated by a white contour line that is separately illuminated as soon as the driver starts the engine. 

The powerful bumper and widely flared wheel arches give the front section a particularly wide and muscular look.  The headlight units come with semi-transparent cover glass and provide soft and pleasant light as well as homogeneous and dazzle-free illumination.

A large air intake scoop extending across the entire front section marks the lower edge of the body.  An additional wing-shaped element gives this section of the concept car a particularly striking touch through its conspicuous play of colour in high-gloss white. 

Side view: short overhangs, dynamic wedge shape

The side view of a concept car is characterised by the dynamic wedge shape created by the window graphics and the impressive shoulder line.  The window contours are clearly emphasised by the frame finished enveloped in a high-gloss white trim instead of chrome.

The headlights extending far into the front wheel arches, together with their white-painted frame, create a harmonious link to the A-pillar.  The rear of the car also boasts a particularly short overhang again emphasising the long wheelbase of Kia No 3. 

Like the window frames on the front and rear doors, the B-pillars are finished in matt black.  This further emphasises the impression of one large and continuous glass surface giving the side view of the car a very light and sporting look.  The shoulder and the C-pillars create a particularly muscular appearance, the additional emphasis on the rear wheel arches providing a harmonious connection to the rear of the car.

The exterior mirrors are finished in piano black, while a white illuminated surface forms the side direction indicator integrated in the mirror in truly innovative style. 

All-weather high-speed tyres fitted on 19-inch light-alloy wheels and with a snow-crystal tread profile dedicated to winter sport provide a striking sign of sporty performance.  The wheel rims and spokes in piano black on the outside and polished in glossy chrome on the inside bring out a special touch of power and agility.

Rear view: powerful look, innovative light technology

The shoulder section of the Kia No 3 with its distinctive contours at the rear provides an especially wide look emphasising the car’s sportiness.  The rear lights combine the shape so typical of Kia with truly innovative technology.  The light bars come in a wedge-shaped look surrounded by a striking red light bar. 

The roof: impressive glass surfaces, exceptional diagonal axis

The extra-large panorama glass roof on Kia No 3 extends directly out of the windscreen and stretches all the way to the rear spoiler, providing excellent all-round visibility and a perfect view of both the traffic and the road.  A diagonal arranged roof support almost unnoticeably interrupts the elegant, seemingly unsupported flow of the tinted roof glass. 

The glass roof creates a generous feeling of space and freedom. An adjustable sun visor on the driver’s side significantly reduces the direct influx of light.  Designed like a fighter pilot’s helmet and with a gold-coating, the sun visor is fastened to the outer roof frame and on a guide rail running parallel down the centre-line of the roof.  A solar sensor moves the position of the sun visor to keep out the sun from all angles and automatically prevent any dazzling of the driver.

Interior: modern, sophisticated, sporty

Through its generous space and grace inside, this urban five-seater offers superior spaciousness despite the car’s compact exterior dimensions.  At the same time, Kia No 3 clearly demonstrates the highlights of Kia’s interior design for the future – top-quality materials, high-quality finish, stylish equipment, and the most modern IT technology combined with a contemporary lifestyle feeling.

Precisely selected features in high-gloss white paint and their distinctive contrast to other, piano-black surfaces play an important role throughout the interior.  The electromechanical parking brake, once activated, is clearly marked by a contour band illuminated in bright red. 

A ‘turn and push’ central control unit allows the driver and passenger to mastermind the navigation, audio system, air-conditioning and internet functions easily and with maximum precision.

The three circular dials for the rev counter, the speedometer and fuel gauge have tubular design with a perspective view, creating a strong impression of three-dimensional vision.  White, easy-to-read cockpit meters further accentuate the sophisticated look of the instrument cluster. 

The slightly elevated seating position so typical of an MPV gives the driver of Kia No 3 excellent all-round visibility and ensures easy access and exit 

Appearing to literally hover in space, the front seats add a touch of sober elegance, taking up trends from furniture design and architecture interpreted in new style.  The unique upholstery offers yet another highlight: it is made of a water-repellent high-tech textile and carefully finished in a discreet, matt golden colour (called ‘Stardust Gold’). The upholstery takes up the exclusive style of particularly sophisticated sportswear.  With its elegant surface sweep, the centre armrest houses an additional storage box. 

Within the interior, Kia No 3 combines individual style with generosity and flexibility.  The long wheelbase and generous width of the car guarantee optimum freedom of space, with this generous feeling further enhanced by the extra-large glass roof and a wide range of carefully conceived details. 

Kia No 3: impressive clarity, surprising ideas

Kia presents its No 3  concept car as a combination of the practical qualities of an MPV and the compact car, redefining both types of vehicle with additional features and diversity in a fascinating way.  Through its clear and consistent design language, together with a wide range of creative solutions, Kia No 3 offers an unusually high standard of sporty flair and individual style quite exceptional in this class. 

Kia sees this innovative study as yet another important step in the company’s process of becoming an outstanding carmaker lauded for progressive concepts and a product range full of character.  With its clear orientation to design, Kia pursues the philosophy to develop truly unmistakable cars that are both practical, individual, and desirable. Kia No 3 therefore represents the ability of the brand and its products to leave a lasting impression and to convince with superior quality in every respect.

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