Design & Technology / Product
Cadenza Color & Trim Story December 11th, 2009
By Jang Soo-jin, senior researcher
Kia Color Design Team
Touch and feel the softness
An incredible amount of care and attention went into making the recently launched Kia Cadenza the automaker’s most advanced model to date. During market research into Cadenza target buyers in terms of where they go, what products they use and their preferences, we found that they do not like a conspicuous or exaggerated aesthetic. Indeed, a common trait held by target consumers is an emphasis on purchasing items for self-satisfaction and value that possess “unique luxuriousness” as a must-have quality.
The most popular colors for same-class models – namely, white, black and silver – were upgraded to form Cadenza’s exterior colors. Research focused on pigment with metallic particles to differentiate the basic colors. Our designers visited upscale hotels, boutiques and fashion shows to get a better feel for the subtle differences in hues. The results are the following three exterior colors.
Satin Metal was created to stress a more high-tech feel compared to conventional silver. High-brightness silver and silver pigment with large particles were mixed to recreate the impression of a mysterious, feather-light satin scarf blowing in the wind.
Platinum Graphite was selected through market research into dark grey hues preferred by overseas customers. By using a bright tone silver with fine particles, an upscale effect is achieved as the color looks bright when seen from the front but appears darker when viewed from the side.
The main focus of the Cadenza’s interior was placed on discovering diverse materials to best convey an emotional tactile quality.
For the cluster housing, we first wrapped the cluster with a new material called air-cell (shape memory double raschel) before covering it with synthetic leather. This imparts a soft touch and scratch-resistant surface. Microfiber suede is used for the headliner, pillar trim and rear package to produce a cozy feeling. Additionally, the interior is free of environmentally hazardous chromium while the anion-emitting leather seats are designed to be class-leading.
While pondering how to create the “special kind of luxury” desired by target buyers, we came up with the idea of a “white package” featuring white leather trim. The first white package offered by a Korean automaker was initially unveiled through the KND-5 concept car (Seoul Motor Show 2009). The overwhelmingly positive response shown by local and overseas consumers led to the decision to offer the white package on the mass-produced Cadenza.
The duty of a designer is to create a reliable product that offers both style and function to consumers. The high-end natural leather (NAPPA) used on the seats, door center trim and console armrest was treated for anti-fouling. Owners are also provided with a leather care kit (cleaner and conditioner), dispelling fears about the white package becoming dirty quickly and delivering customer delight at the same time.
The die has been cast and the countdown has begun. Cadenza will spark a surge of interest and excitement due to the generous applications of new technologies and materials. We hope that customers will be able to enjoy their Cadenza experience with all five senses.