Design & Technology / Product
2011 Seoul Motor Show April 6th, 2011
Today I am going to share with you what I brought back from the Seoul Motor Show last Thursday. At the Seoul Motor Show (www.motorshow.or.kr) this year, Kia introduced various concept cars and new cars (all-new Rio, all-new Picanto, etc.) which were recently showcased at international motor shows.
However, the true heroes at the Kia booth were the K5 (known as Optima in some regions) Hybrid and ‘Naimo’ electric crossover vehicle.
The Kia Press Conference began at 9:20 in the morning, and a lot of reporters were busy trying to get a good spot. I also struggled to take good pictures.
Peter Schreyer, Chief Design Officer of Kia, explained the design concept of Naimo, and immediately afterwards the red silk veil was removed from Naimo.
The moment the cover was removed, so many people stood up to take pictures that I had a hard time capturing the wonderful moment of its unveiling.
Naimo wears the color of Korean celadon, jade green, which represents the beauty of Korea. It was quite attractive. Like POP, another Kia electric concept car, the front grill was designed with LEDs. The A pillar and roofline design reminded me of Soul.
Following the reveal of Naimo, a children’s choir began to walk down from upstairs after a brief video introduction, and in the middle of their song, the second hero of the event, K5 Hybrid, began to descend.
K5 Hybrid, the first parallel type full hybrid car of Kia, stopped on the main stand, and the reporters began shooting.
After the Press Conference I took more pictures of the concept car Naimo.
Its overall design looks like a B-segment CUV, and I strongly felt that it was ‘cute.’ However, since it has 20-inch alloy wheels and low height, its stance is very confident and sporty.
The interior is very simple. The 2-spoke steering wheel is adorable, and a tablet PC (to be released by LG) is located on the center console.
Korean oak was used for the door trim, and as illustrated in the picture below, it does not have a B-pillar. So it looked easy to get in and out of.
The asymmetrical sunroof was also charming and cute. In particular, as Hanji (traditional Korean paper handmade from mulberry trees) was used, it felt like it could be environment-friendly. It would be nice if it could be actually made available in the market, but I was a little worried about how I would take care of this material over long-term use.
As for the interior space, I felt like I was in a living room of a house, not a car. It looked modern and comfy at the same time.
This Naimo, I believe, is a very meaningful concept car to Kia. Kia’s design has been received very favorably both at home and abroad. Optima and Sportage’s recent winning of the Red dot design award and the iF design award proves that. On a personal note, I hope that design elements which interpreted the beauty of Korea in a modern way will be reflected in Kia cars down the line, and Naimo shows promise.
Here are bonus images of KV7, K7 (Cadenza) and K5 (Optima) from the show.
Lastly, I share with you a video of the Seoul Motor Show. Please enjoy and I will be back with more exciting news.