Design & Technology / Product
All-new Sportage Design Development Story-Exterior April 16th, 2010
By Massimo Frascella, design manager
Chi Young Kim, designer
Kia Design Center
In 2007 the Kia California design center displayed the Kia Kue concept at the Detroit Auto show and the goal was to showcase the future styling direction for our emerging brand. The car illustrated the new Kia design language with a minimalistic approach where clean surfaces and modern lines contribute to a simple and distinctive look.
Sportage is a model that draws generously from the innovative look of the Kue concept car. Following the Soul and Forte Koup, it furthers the distinctive Kia design DNA, underlining the company’s image and reputation as a design-led company. In particular, the KUE concept won the Eyes on the Design Award.
When we started the production program three years ago, we wanted the new Sportage to carry all the functional benefits and features of the old model into a completely new and redesigned body. The new Sportage had to be sporty and sleek, opposite to the full rugged look of the previous one, with a more urban lifestyle approach. The Kue show car was the perfect image.
The proportions of the vehicle were key to achieving this and possibly the most difficult challenge, since the production package was considerably different. The new Sportage sits well on the wheels and has a great road presence. We visually cut the corners to convey an even more compact volume and emphasize the wheel size and position. The extreme plan view curve allowed us to design pronounced wheel flares that dramatically improved the stance giving an additional sporty flavor to the vehicle.
The front translates very closely to the styling elements of the Kue concept and proudly presents the new face of Kia, with dynamic swept back head lamps, the signature Kia grille and a distinctive lower fascia treatment. The black bezel headlamp and light guide, which were found on the Cadenza, are details that identify the Kia Motors brand to consumers.
The relation body to glass, with a high beltline, gives the car an almost coupe’ proportion and the generous C pillar gives solidity and balance at the same time to the side view. The surfacing is very modern and clean and a full sectioned body side is defined by a spearing shoulder throughout the whole length of the car, visually connecting headlamps and tail lamps. The crispness of this line, together with the lower body feature, conveys a sense of precision and dynamism. The 18-inch large-diameter wheel and muscular wheel arches produce a powerful stance while the darker cladding brings a touch of ruggedness to the car, and the darker cladding brings a touch of ruggedness to the whole car.
The aggressive graphic line that connects with the front end and the clean yet contemporary rear contribute to a solid stance. The raised rear window graphic imparts volume while the prominent shoulder line completes a fantastic rear view silhouette.
The harmony of the sharp graphic line and high-tech details add refinement to the rear combi-lamp while the separate turn signal indicators are considered a style element unique to Sportage
Sportage follows the example of Mohave and Soul, born from the marriage of concept and mass-produced cars. As a result, it is able to satisfy consumers’ desire for a fresh and inspiring look, while also bringing designers’ dreams to reality. Accordingly, future projects are also likely to be inspired by concept cars.
Overall, the 2011 Sportage will bring the functionality and versatility of the old model into a sleek, modern and bold style, with new proportions and a completely new look which will contribute to elevate the Kia brand as a world design leader. Hopefully, the new Sportage will be embraced by drivers as a vehicle that evokes emotions and delivers pleasure on the roads.
The all-new Sportage interior design story is coming soon. Stay tuned!