Kia cars

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Okay, so at first we thought Kia’s ad for this year’s SuperBowl was going to be the five-hour long video of Victoria’s Secret supermodel Adrianna Lima waving a checkered flag back and forth repeatedly. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, Kia has another way of advertising during the biggest football game of the year.

Their true SuperBowl commercial is called "A Dream Car. For Real Life." It features a couple who are visited by a sandman who sprinkles a little special dust on them to make for a couple of fabulous dreams. He accidentally drops the entire man on the gentleman and his dream because Kia’s high-powered ad featuring the Optima . In this ad, the man cruises around in his Optima while getting an eyeful of Adrianna Lima, UFC fighter Chuck Lidell, and American heavy metal band Mötley Crüe, among other things. He performs the ultimate task however, when he rides into his wife’s perfect dream and rescues her from her dream man on the white horse.

If this commercial isn’t enough for you and you’re looking for a little more of the scantily clad Adrianna Lima, hit the jump. There, you’ll find five hours worth of some bare skin and flag waving.

The Chicago Auto Show is one of America’s biggest auto events, yet it doesn’t hold the same glamorous standards as that of its counterparts in Detroit, New York, and even Los Angeles.

That being said, a lot of automakers have used Chicago as the venue for their concept debuts and it’s no different this year as Kia prepares to roll out the Track’ster Concept.

The Tracks’ter Concept is being touted as "the ultimate performance" Soul that features an aggressive hatchback body with a low and aggressive bodykit. Looking at the Soul ’s overall design, it should be easy to paint a picture of the Tracks’Ter as a concept that carries a far edgier look to coincide with the Korean automaker’s evolving design language, one that’s a far departure from the conservative approach the company used to be known for.

Performance details on the Tracks’ter Concept have yet to be announced, but considering what we’re looking at and how it’s being touted, we wouldn’t be surprised if it packs the same 1.6-liter four-cylinder powertrain that can be found under the hood of the Hyundai Veloster Turbo.

Whatever the case may be, we’re all looking forward to seeing the Kia Tracks’Ter Concept make its world debut in Chicago later this month.

Kia GT Concept

Korean automaker, Kia, has been far more aggressive in expanding its company profile in the past couple of years and establishing itself as one of the most popular automakers in the world.

Now we’re learning 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.

What we do know is that the production GT will be made to provide the market a Korean alternative to many of the German automakers, particularly Audi and BMW . If you ever thought the day would come wherein Kia would be mentioned in the same sentence as those two German automakers, then your day has finally come.

As it stands, details on the production version of the GT Concept are still being kept under wraps. The concept we saw at Frankfurt carried a 3.3-liter turbocharged V6 engine with 390 horsepower so you can probably expect something along those lines.

Whatever the case may be, Kia’s decision to push for the production of the concept shows without a tinge of doubt that they’re ready to play with the Germans. And the best part is, they sure as heck aren’t backing down.

Source: Inside Line

The debuts are coming fast and furious at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show so we’re going to be on our toes to stay on top of the action as more cars are unveiled.

One that got our attention was the Kia Optima SX World Challenge GTS Race Car. Given the fact that Kia is a relative neophyte in the world of auto racing, we’ve been pleasantly surprised in the company’s aggressive stance in building race cars. Last month at SEMA , they even introduced their new Rio B-Spec Racer and an Optima USTCC Pace Car . Now, it’s the Optima ’s turn to be tuned to racing specifications, this time for the Pirelli World Challenge Championships.

One possible explanation behind Kia’s sudden enthusiasm in auto racing was born out of the success they’ve had in the sport, despite only being active in competitive racing for the past two years.

"As a brand with no previous racing experience in America, for Kia to win two motorsports championships in just its second year is an incredible accomplishment, and expanding our motorsports footprint with the turbocharged Optima entering World Challenge will continue to build passion and enthusiasm for the brand with an entirely new fan base at different race tracks across the country," said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, KMA.

The cars were built as a collaborative project between Kia Motors America and Kinetic Motorsports where they will be competing in a racing series that features race-prepped versions of production vehicles from many of the world’s most popular manufacturers. The pair of Optimas that were unveiled at the LA Auto Show have been tuned with aerodynamic styling and outstanding driving dynamics that should make them well suited to handle the high-octane, steel-scraping world of World Challenge racing.

If we weren’t looking at this car with our very own eyes, we would have never believed that a Kia Optima Hybrid could look this good! Kia has pulled out all of the stops at this year’s SEMA Show with two very impressive update packages based on the hybrid sedan. First, was the Optima Hybrid Griffin and now, the USTCC Kia Optima Hybrid Pace Car.

The new USTCC Optima Hybrid Pace Car will replace the current Kia Soul as the official Safety Car of the USTCC. The car was developed in cooperation with and includes a free-flow air intake system, a Magnaflow exhaust system, a coil-over suspension kit to lower the ride height, a front splitter and rear wing, and lightweight wheels wrapped around performance tires.

All of those accessories are amazing in their own right, but the first thing we noticed on the car was the stunning custom color scheme, series graphics, and array of lighting. The Optima now benefits from a crisp black exterior with neon green graphics and a plethora of lighting, including LED auxiliary lights and HID headlight. The Optima Pace Car also has strobe lights and an LED light bar on the roof to help direct traffic while on duty.

The interior was also transformed to make the job easier with a 2,400-watt audio and video system and a DVD system with dual seven-inch monitors in the front-seat headrests and wireless headphones. The Optima was also given custom leather seats with green stitching to match the exterior trim color.

The USTCC Kia Optima Hybrid Pace Car will make its first USTCC appearance in March 2012.

Updated 11/09/2011: We have added real life images of the Kia Optima Hybrid USTCC Pace Car from its official debut on the SEMA floor. Find them in the picture gallery.

Everyone knows that hybrid cars are firstly being built for being environmental friendly and second for great look or performance. But this special Kia Optima Hybrid Griffin is the perfect proof that absolutely any car in the world can look great if you know the changes it needs.

The car has been developed by Kia in cooperation with West Coast Customs as a tribute to Blake Griffin - the company’s official spokesperson. And as you might have expected the car features a a basketball-themed, with custom orange paint scheme combined with 20"matte black wheels and Griffin’s personal logo on the hood.

The interior gets basketball-court flooring in the front and rear seating areas, custom leather seats with Griffin’s autograph embroidered in the front headrests, leather and suede door panel inserts and headliner, and a booming audio system. And if you wanted even more the car also gets two flat-screen TVs mounted in the back of the front headrests connect to a Microsoft®(2) X-Box video game console and a "Pop-A-Shot" basketball hoop mounted in the trunk.

Updated 11/09/2011: We have added new images of the Kia Optima Hybrid Griffin from its official debut on the SEMA floor. Check the picture gallery to see them.

Kia ’s presence at the 2011 SEMA Auto Show has been all about sports-inspired cars. The Optima Hybrid Griffin featured a basketball theme and the Kia Forte Hat Trick comes complete with a hockey theme, named after the act of a player scoring three goals in a single match. That feat is then followed by fans throwing their hats onto the ice.

Speaking of ice, the Forte Hat Trick is painted in a custom ice-metallic gray exterior paint and sits on a new set of 19" blue alloy wheels. Developed by Antenna, the car has also received a custom body kit and Forte Koup front bumper with carbon fiber accents and LED "hockey stick" fog lights, a quad-tipped exhaust, carbon fiber roof material, and a lowered suspension. The headliner features a built-in hockey coach’s play board and the rear cargo area features built-in compartments that house four carbon fiber hockey sticks and two jerseys color matched to the exterior of the car.

The interior also received a sporty makeover with two bucket seats with custom upholstery, custom-molded sports bottle drink holders in the center console, and a mini air hockey table mounted in the rear hatch area. The coolest part about the interior is the TVs mounted in the front seat headrests and wired to a Microsoft X-Box video game console featuring EA Sports NHL12 video game.

Updated 11/09/2011: Look in the picture gallery for new real life images of the Kia Forte Hat Trick from its official debut at the SEMA Show.

Kia geared up for the 2011 SEMA Auto Show with an armada of presentations starting with this fascinating surf and skate-themed Rio hatchback. The car was built in cooperation with Antenna Magazine and was designed to be a “one-of-a-kind retro ride aimed at totally radical surfing enthusiasts.”

The exterior of the Rio 5-door was treated to a sunset-metallic golden-brown paint and a custom body kit that includes a front splitter made of wood that matches the Thule roof rack and hand-made wood surfboard mounted on top. The car has also been lowered with a modified suspension for better handling while a new set of 17" three-piece gold wheels finish off the exterior details.

Inside, the Antenna Rio 5-door comes with custom front and rear seats and dash and door panels that are dressed in brown and beige plaid waterproof bathing suit fabric. There’s also a wood grain center console and a headliner upholstered in dark brown suede with a towel holder built in that rounds out the car’s themed retro-surf look. Meanwhile, the rear center console was turned into a shelf that can hold beach accessories, including sun tan lotion, surfboard wax, and bottled water. Then, there’s the rear hatch, which has been modified to hold a retro gaming console that plays 80’s-style arcade games, a retro-looking record player to play music, mood lighting, and shelves to hold sandals and clothing.

Needless to say, this particular Rio is more about its looks than it is about its performance capabilities. Don’t expect it to burn some rubber on the road, but when it comes to the perfect chill-out ride, Antenna Magazine’s Kia Rio "Retro Surf" is a retro hot spot on wheels.

Updated 11/09/2011: Check the picture gallery to see new images of the Rio 5-Door "Retro Surf" by Antenna Magazine from its official debut at the SEMA Show.

Kia ’s burgeoning quirky reputation is about to be taken to a whole new level at the coming SEMA Auto Show next month after announcing that they’re bringing six "sports-themed" projects to the world’s biggest aftermarket auto event.

We sincerely hope that we don’t see any rapping hamsters and from what we’ve been told, there won’t be any. Instead, the Korean automaker will be fielding a couple of custom-modded 2012 Kia Souls inspired by some of the world’s best athletes, including golf star Michelle Wie and NBA dynamo Blake Griffin.

In the case of the hotshot golfer, Kia dressed up the Soul - with the help of West Coast Customs - using a funky "So Blue" exterior paint scheme, the same colorful artwork she uses on her golf bags. In addition to that, the
Soul also carries a new set of 20" five-spoke wheels that incorporate her original artwork. Inside, the modifications include the golfer’s artwork and personal logo also that have been integrated into the Soul’s "Snow White" leather headrests. There’s also a baby blue painted dash and pink headliner and seating accents, completing the interior’s whimsical look. There’s also an artificial glass flooring and at the back, you’ll find a 26" LED TV monitor mounted into the rear hatch with a Microsoft X-Box 360 console and Microsoft Kinect system to play golf out of the back of the vehicle. Two of Wie’s tournament-used golf bags are also mounted behind the TV, which conceals the car’s eight-inch speakers and subwoofer.

UPDATE: 11/01/11: This review has been updated with official photos from Kia

The run up to one of our favorite auto shows has begun and we’re already getting a few looks at some of the cars that are expected to be in attendance.

One of the early reveals is the Kia Rio B-Spec Race Car, the Korean automaker’s very first B-Spec offering. The car was developed by Kinetic Motorsports and will be unveiled at SEMA in a month’s time.

For their part, Kia may not have the same cache as the likes of Toyota and Honda in B-Spec racing, but that certainly doesn’t mean that they’re not looking at breaking into the scene like gangbusters.

The car itself already comes packed with plenty of technical and mechanical modifications, complete with a fully decked red-and-white racing livery, a new suspension set-up comprising of a MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear axle, a roll cage, and plenty of additional racing safety equipment.

As for the powertrain, the car is expected to carry the same engine set-up as its stock counterpart. What that means is that the Rio B-Spec Race Car will carry a 1.6-liter direct-injection four-cylinder engine that produces 138 HP and 123 lb-ft of torque. Kinetic Motorsports will also leave open the option of tweaking the output to squeeze in as much extra horsepower as it could within the rules.

"With the rapid development of the Kia Racing program and the launch of the 2012 Rio five-door, we have a unique opportunity to introduce Kia to a new and passionate racing community," said Michael Sprague Kia Vice President of Marketing and Communications.

UPDATE 11/02/11: This review has been updated with official photos from Kia

UPDATE 11/09/11: We have added new images of the Kia Rio B-Spec Race Car from its debut at the SEMA Show.

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