Driving into the future with Kia at the 82nd International Motor Show Geneva March 15th, 2012
By Sun Hur
Overseas Communications Team
The 82nd Geneva Motor Show kicked off with 30 participating countries, over 1,000 automotive brands and 800,000 people in attendance. The show took place at the Geneva Palexpo Convention Center, which is situated at the center of European automotive power nations, and has come to be known as the automotive industry’s ‘battlefield’ and debut stage for new models and concept-cars.
‘Driving into the Future,’ is this year’s show theme and with 180 cars making their world debut, the anticipation leading up to the opening day was beyond imagination.
This was my first time being on site at a grand scale motor show, so I wanted write about what I experienced in terms of Kia’s vision for the future and provide a personal recap of the motor show. Let’s get started.
All eyes on the All-New cee’d
The All-New cee’d was hands-down the center of attention for Kia, especially since it was its world premiere. The impressive debut started with a sneak peek at an exclusive pre-media event on March 6th, which led into the official Press Day (World Premier) the following day.
(By the way, if you missed our live press day and cee’d debut checkout the video here)
My initial impression of the cee’d’s debut was ‘confidence and agility.’ Design-wise, I felt it was more masculine and sporty compared to the past cee’d because the coupe-style seemed to be combined with the hatchback. A 3-door body type cee’d is also expected to be released which apparently would have a sportier look than the 5 door.
The cee’d Sport Wagon was unveiled alongside the hatchback, and it drew a lot of media attention. Specific details were not revealed at Geneva, so please stay tuned for more information.
The combination of LED DRL (Daytime Running Light) headlamps which has become Kia’s signature design, and the new family-look radiator grille were attractive enough to turn heads. The newly adapted signature front look has a bigger radiator grille and also has a curvier line, demonstrating Kia’s design transformation from a simple and square theme to a more dynamic, rounded and fluid style.
A special note about the All-New cee’d is the diverse engine options with two diesel types and three gasoline types for Europe. The new Dual Clutch Transmission along with the 6 speed auto transmission and the ‘Flex Steering System’ allows drivers to select a mode out of ‘Normal, Comfort and Sport’, depending upon their preferences. The driver-oriented space design, which is also present in the Optima and Rio, echoes the strong the ‘fun-to-drive’ and ‘owner driven’ identity that Kia strives to maintain.
More details on options can be found in http://www1.kia.eu/Campaigns-and-Redirects/New-ceed-2012/.
Track’ster’s European Debut
The Track’ster, made its European debut at Geneva following its first unveiling at the Chicago Motor Show. The show floor buzz on the Track’ster from journalists and motor heads were frequently mentioning that it was “outstanding among many competing concept-cars” and many folks said they were eagerly waiting to see this concept become reality.
Track’ster by all means showed Kia’s future with a 1.6 T-GDI high-performance 4-wheel coupe concept vehicle. Did you know that the eye catching Track’ster was influenced by a bulldog and ski boots? Its design creation story can be found in the video below.
We also had the European debut of the Ray EV, Korea’s first electric vehicle, which is opening a new chapter in Kia’s EcoDynamics (sub-brand). Many brands introduced their eco-friendly cars at Geneva showing a shared industry value towards the environment, and the Ray EV along with the Optima Hybrid are helping to honor that value and our commitment to sustainability.
Technology and Beyond
First unveiled at CES 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada, The IVI (in-vehicle infotainment) and UCD (user-centered driving) systems showed off Kia’s in-car tech philosophy – That vehicles need to adapt to peoples’ lifestyles and go beyond the simple role of transportation.
Thanks for sticking around and reading my summary of Kia at the 82nd Geneva Motor Show. I would like to close this ‘Driving into the future of Kia’ blog post, by saying that Kia’s future looks bright and I look forward to seeing what we will unveil in the near future.