Kia Motors celebrated two world premieres at the 64th Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany. The powerful, dynamic and forward-looking Kia GT concept car, which signals the company’s distinctive new design direction, was unveiled alongside the new three-door hatchback version of the all-new Rio. The Kia GT took center stage on Kia’s stand as Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer revealed the sleek and muscular four-door sports sedan with a rear-wheel drive layout – a first for Kia. “No matter from which perspective you look at the Kia GT, it is roaring with energy and ready for take-off,” says Peter Schreyer. “I believe this concept car is a strong statement from Kia that we are ready to fast-forward to an all new chapter.”
The 4,690 mm long concept has the classic front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout of a high performance sedan which ensures very different proportions from a front-wheel drive car. The new concept allowed Kia to explore exciting new visual paths – with an extended bonnet, the front wheels pushed to the very front of the car, the cab-rearward stance with powerful rear shoulders and a truncated rear end. Beneath the extended bonnet, power is provided by a 3.3-liter turbocharged Lambda V6 GDI (gasoline direct injection) engine generating 395 ps and 54.4 kgfm of torque (534 Nm). The transmission is an eight-speed automatic. The front doors and rear-hinged back doors open at a slight upward angle ensuring easy access to the spacious and airy interior which provides generous, uncluttered cabin accommodation for four – thanks in part to the Kia GT’s unusually long wheelbase (2,860 mm) and despite its low stance, overall height is just 1,380 mm. Under Schreyer’s guidance, Kia’s European design team set out to create a concept car that was graceful, athletic and confident, but not aggressive or overbearing. The focus on dynamism and pace was enhanced by the aeronautical theme adopted for many of the GT’s features.
Sporty three-door to expand appeal of all-new Rio
Around the world, the five-door hatchback and four-door sedan versions of Kia’s all-new Rio are already generating positive reviews in the press, and strong demand from customers. Now, the appeal of Kia’s latest model will expand even further with the introduction of the company’s first-ever three-door hatchback Rio in selected markets. Designed primarily to attract younger buyers to Kia for the first time, the three-door Rio will boost conquest sales after its introduction during the first quarter of 2012. Ultimately, Kia expects the three-door Rio to account for between 20 to 25 per cent of total Rio sales. New Rio three-door has the same dimensions as the five-door model (length 4,045 mm, width 1,720 mm, height 1,455 mm and wheelbase 2,570 mm) and retains the same low roofline, emphasizing its sporty stance. In most markets, it will be available with the same range of powertrains, equipment and options as the five-door model. With a total of three bodystyles for all-new Rio, plus the already-popular five-door refreshed Soul and five-door Venga (in Europe), Kia is confident of capturing an even larger share of the increasingly popular global compact car market.