Design & Technology / Product

Cadenza Color & Trim Story December 11th, 2009

Jang, Soo-jinBy 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 MetalSatin 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 GraphitePlatinum 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.

Snow Pearl WhiteSnow Pearl White has a sparkling and luminescent surface sheen with the substantial addition of synthetic pearl particles compared to the existing pearl white hue.

The main focus of the Cadenza’s interior was placed on discovering diverse materials to best convey an emotional tactile quality.

Cadenza Interior

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.

White Package

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.

  • jtz

    I have a question. I think so but I want to hear it from you. My question is do you think the Cadenza is really ready to compete with the Taurus and LaCross?

  • jtz

    I really didn’t know how luxrious this car would be. So what’s the CH going to have recliners?

  • jtz

    The Cadenza looks better in dark blue or black. I also want to see one in red.

  • jtz

    So does the exterior mirrors notice blind spots. You know like if you are driving on the highway and you want to get over but there would be a light on one of the exterior mirrors to let the driver know that there is another vehicle (lets say it’s the Forte)in your way.

  • Colin

    Hello jtz,

    We haven’t decided it yet. I will pass your comment to the CH product manager.


  • Colin

    Hello jtz,

    Of course we are. They will be our main target.
    We are keeping an eye on them.


  • jtz

    Thanks. I really like the LED’s in the headlights. I never knew simple lines in a design can become so eye catching. I saw the next Optima on spy shots. For something covered up, it is eye catching too. I’m sure the CH will get the greenlight. I know it will. It’ll sell good two because it will differ from the Cadenza since it’ll be a RWD Kia. It’ll have more luxury (it’s got to rival that Lexus LS).. For all you know it could be in the Wind Tunnel right about now. Or maybe it is doing an ice test. Or could it be behind the plant on the race track going around in circles at a very high speed. Hmmmm, maybe it is on the bump test or crash test. Maybe the CH is in a freezing room in like negative 35 degress to see if the engine will crank. It can’t no longer be clay or paper anymore. You guys have something up your sleevs for the CH something very surpising. Something that will even surpise the german brands.

  • jtz

    As for the Cadenza’s panaramic sunroof, it is wayyy bigger than that LaCross’s. Just like the Sorento’s is bigger than that Accadia’s.

  • jtz

    Also, your interior designs are more intersting than what GM is doing. It’s easy why the Cruze’s interior may look better than the Forte for most people but that’s because it has the same lay out as the LaCross. Kia really designed the Forte and Cadenza’s interior they don’t look anything alike. That too me is more creative.

  • I really loved this amazing article. Please keep it up. Greets!.

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