Kia flexes design muscles at L.A. Auto Show
Korean automaker draws on the iconic style of the 1970s GT cars to create a stunning new concept car.
Kia's plans for the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show focused heavily on the role that design has played in its recent success, with compelling sheet metal pulling new customers from demographics not normally cross-shopping the Korean brand. By drawing on the iconic style of 1970s GT cars to create a stunning new concept, Kia shows that it will continue to focus on making some of the best-looking cars on the road.
Kia GT Concept
What is it? A concept that reaches into the past to reference GT cars from the '70s while showing the future of a design-driven Kia badge.
What's hot? The slick looks, the suicide doors, the carbon-fiber bits and the overall sexy look are hard to argue with. Throw in a 3.3-liter Lambda V6 GDI engine putting out 395 horsepower and 393.5 lb-ft of torque onto a rear-wheel-drive platform, and all you have to do is tell us where to send our money.
What's not? The grille is reminiscent of the Hyundai Veloster, but taken to the extreme. That's a risky prospect, as the front end veers dangerously close to looking not futuristic, but downright alien. Also, while we love concept interiors, it would be nice to see what a more functional interior would look like in what could turn into a production model.
How much and when? It's still a concept, so although we'd love to see this car produced, there's no guarantee.
MSN Autos' verdict: Kia design chief Peter Schreyer received Automobile Magazine's Man of the Year award shortly after the GT Concept was unveiled, and with designs like this driving the brand forward, it's easy to see why.
Josh Condon has covered everything from nanotechnology to champagne and caviar for the likes of The New York Times, Popular Science, Men's Journal, Cargo and RL Magazine. He's recently relocated from Brooklyn, N.Y., to Los Angeles and is spending way, way more time in his car as a result.