Design & Technology / Product
Optima design story: Interior August 10th, 2010
By now, most of the world has become aware of our newest sport sedan, and we are proud to share with you some of the story behind its creative process!
With each new Design project comes a new goal and Kia was determined that this new Optima was going to be very aggressive, youthful and sporty.
Immediately, we felt very confident that an “aircraft cockpit” inspired theme was the perfect solution for this new interior. This idea was share with great enthusiasm by the Interior Manager and the rest of the design team, as we felt it would help us craft a hands-on “totally-engaged with the machine” experience for the driver , so I began to sketch around this idea.
Every new project is always different from the last. However, the art of creating an automotive interior is a very fluid process; and as a designer I must be able to approach each new project with an open mind about how to make the very best design utilizing the all the tools available.
Sometimes a 2-D sketch, is not always enough. A designer sometimes must also “sketch over the clay,” even before a theme is chosen, to make sure his or her intuitive ideas will work in the real world.
Spacious, concise, comfortable and sporty are words that can be used to describe Optima’s interior. The center fascia is designed to tilt 9.6 degrees toward the driver for maximum convenience, and to convey the feeling that the driver and car move as one. The display and controls are aligned with the driver’s line of vision for greater visibility and ease of use.
The air vent and 3-cylinder vision cluster are grouped together to lend a unique and high-end feel. The door trim employs an armrest with integrated speakers for maximum convenience and storage space, not to mention a simple and sophisticated image. The boot-type AT knob and fold-type cup holder cover adds to its luxuriousness. Meanwhile, the higher console enhances athletic styling.
Diverse driving data are relayed to drivers in graphic form via the TFT LCD Supervision Cluster. The cluster layout offers increased visibility and a futuristic feel. The mood lighting installed in the lower part of the door and center fascia lends an air of sophistication and spaciousness. The spot lighting of the overhead console provides illumination at night for added convenience and functionality.
The ergonomic seat features good side-bolster support, keeping the driver’s upper body in place during sporty driving.
Optima aims to upgrade people’s perceptions of mid-sized sedans, deliver enhanced driving pleasure and safety, while solidifying its position as a main model in Kia’s portfolio.
We are definitely excited and proud to have helped make the Optima interior a reality — and we hope you get a chance to drive one to discover the “driver experience” that we envisioned!
Until next time…