One of the many highlights of the Frankfurt Motor Show was a concept car that could potentially lead to a new styling direction from the company that brought the car to Germany.
We’re talking about the Kia GT Concept, a rear-wheel four-door, four-seater sports sedan concept that bares a slight resemblance to the K9 sketch revealed back in 2009.
While we certainly were very surprised by the look of the car - at first, we actually thought it was a Maserati - Kia’s aggressive approach in the design of their future models just goes to show that their designers and engineers have some serious creative chops.
"No matter from which perspective you look at it – this concept car is roaring with energy and ready for take-off," said Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors Chief Design Officer. "I believe the car is a strong statement from Kia: we are ready to fast forward to an all new chapter."
With the aggressive approach the Korean automaker has taken in being more pro-active in the industry, we’re not betting against these guys when it comes to actually seeing this concept through. Who knows, a production version might be in the oven sooner than we think.
UPDATE 12/23/2011: We’ve learned that Kia is set to venture into a whole new market after news broke that they have green-lighted the production of the Kia GT Concept sports car for 2013. We first saw the GT Concept at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show a few months ago and were left breathless at the car’s cutting-edge design and significant - at least for Kia - performance numbers.
For the production GT Concept, Kia is looking at a comprehensive line-up that not only includes a sedan version, but also a two-door coupe variant and, quite possibly, even a station wagon.
Find out more about the Kia GT Concept after the jump
The GT Concept is a rear-wheel four-door, four-seater sports sedan that has been designed with a look that we haven’t seen before from the Korean manufacturer. The whole theme of the car is centered on aeronautics and the design features plenty of inspiration from the industry. There’s a low slung front air intake, jet-themed rear-view cameras, an aerodynamically efficient rear diffuser, winglets that curve in from the front flanks and flow into the headlamps, and multi-piece propeller-style alloy and carbon fiber wheels.
The car’s extended bonnet, powerful rear shoulders, and truncated rear end, together with the copper signature line that runs from the base of the A-pillar and along the roofline, exude seminal strength and authority never before seen in a Kia. The front profile of the GT Concept is also a far departure from what we’re used to. The alloy-framed central grille is flanked by complex headlamp units that feature LED illuminators. The doors are also a unique new quirk from Kia, opening outward at a slight upward angle, similar to how those classic luxury cars used to do it.
Inside, the GT Concept’s cabin is also a picture of awesomeness. The single-piece seats are just one of the new features you’ll find in the interior. The glass instrument panel continues this out-of-age look with three layers of organic LEDs that provide three-dimensional depth, freeing up the car’s center console from the usual proliferation of controls, buttons, and displays.
The instrument panel is also a picture of sophistication, floating above the muscular center console and further enhancing Kia’s intelligent use of space. The rear-view cameras feature playback capabilities and displayed on a pair of LED screens that are mounted on the doors, making it ideally positioned for the driver’s line of sight.
The Kia GT Concept is powered by a turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 engine that produces 390 horsepower and 394 lb/ft of torque mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The GT Concept is also noted for being the first model to carry a rear-wheel drive set-up.
Will It Hit Production?
The word according to CAR Magazine is that the GT Concept will head to production by 2013. When speaking to the magazine, Kia Europe CEO Paul Philpott was a little more tempered with the GT Concept’s future, saying that the first step is to have "the kind of mainstream cars that can compete with the likes of Ford and Citroën in all sectors of the market."
Once we are satisfied that they are all credible, then we will look at extensions beyond that," he added.
If It Does Hit Production, How Much Will It Cost?
Your guess is as good as ours when it comes to future pricing for the GT. Kia hasn’t traveled down this road before, which makes the excitement behind a production version of the concept understandable. We don’t even know how far along the production model will be so you can expect plenty of elements from the latter to be taken out before we hear the go-signal for the production model.
Design language is mind-blowing
Futuristic technology on display
Powertrain is one of the best Kia has produced
There’s still plenty of uncertainty around it
Could be priced at a cost that’s un-Kia-like
How much will be taken out if there’s a production model?