Kia GT Concept Looks Fast, Goes Faster With 395-HP V6 Turbo: 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show
It's dramatic, it's rear wheel drive and it is, quite simply, unlike anything Kia has ever done before. And it has proved to be one of the star attractions of this year's Frankfurt Motor Show.
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."