Design & Technology / Product
Kia’s top 4 concept car line-up: GT, Niro, KND-7, GT4 Stinger July 21st, 2014
Today, we’re taking a moment to acknowledge the creativity and innovation in car design, and what better way to do so than with Kia’s top 4 concept cars? Over the years, Kia has introduced concept cars that are experimental, fun, and sporty, but most of all—innovative. Driven to surprise our fans, Kia strives to always introduce exciting new concept cars that test the limits of both creativity and functionality.
So we picked out the top 4 of Kia’s recent concept cars—the must-sees that have proved to the public and the automotive industry exactly what innovation is all about. Check out the vehicle specs and debut stories of our top 4 concepts below.
First up on our top 4 list is the GT concept—Kia’s first rear-wheel drive concept car, which has been referred to as the “ultimate driver’s car.” The sporty exterior complements the details of a luxurious interior. Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, calls it, “roaring with energy, ready for take-off.”
Following its debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, Car and Driver said the concept was “looking pretty darn good and unlike anything we’ve seen yet from Korea.” The GT concept made waves with its particularly bold design—something that took people by surprise, as it was unlike all other Kia vehicles, signaling a distinctive shift in Kia’s design direction.
Next is the Niro concept car, which came to life at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show, alongside the debut of the all-new Soul EV, an upgraded Soul with modern and fresh design cues. The Niro is an urban hybrid concept vehicle proving that green can also be stylish, and AutoExpress calls it “Kia’s Juke Beater.”
The most notable feature of the Niro concept is probably the dihedral “butterfly” doors that open out and up, giving it a futuristic flair. Mounted directly to the side windows are built-in cameras that function as the side “mirrors,” able to view everything around the vehicle. Check out the scene in Frankfurt below, and see what all the rage was (and is) about!
The KND-7 concept car was designed with comfort and functionality in mind, and debuted at the 2013 Seoul International Motor Show. The KND-7 concept car is a compact, four-door coupe less than 4 meters long. The steering wheel measures the driver’s biorhythms for driver safety, and touch-sensitive doors open out. The interior is trimmed in black leather with yellow accents all around, and it comes equipped with the same 1.6 turbo that comes in the cee’d and pro_cee’d GT models. Most notable is its cheerful-looking face – and it does have a lot to smile about!
Last but not least, we have the GT4 Stinger, which made its debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show. It would be an understatement if we told you the GT4 Stinger concept was a hit. The GT4 was the wild style child born in California, designed by Kia’s U.S. design team in Irvine, California. According to Tom Kearns, Chief Designer of Kia Design Center America, “The GT4 Stinger is a throwback to the days when driving a car was a visceral experience that wasn’t muted by electronic gimmickry.”
And indeed, the GT4 looks exactly like what we wanted it to look like—a purebred, no-nonsense sports car equipped with a four-cylinder engine that puts out up to 315 horsepower. Autoblog raved about the GT4 Stinger concept possibly being a preview of our “first real sports car.” The GT4 Stinger also recently received a silver International Design Excellence Award (IDEA) in the transportation category by the Industrial Designers Society of America. So what isn’t to love about the bold Ignition Yellow body sporting Kia’s classic tiger-nose grille? We’re still trying to answer that question. Check out the GT4 Stinger hit the road below!
While many fans are quick to ask when these vehicles will actually start being produced, at the very least we can say that they provide hints as to what Kia vehicles of the future may look like. But as with the Kia Soul, which started out as a pure concept vehicle itself, we may indeed see some of these cars enter mass production sometime in the near future. So stay tuned!
And yes, we know it’s hard to choose… But if you had to choose just ONE out of the top 4—the GT, Niro, KND-7, and GT4 Stinger, which one would it be? Let us know below in the comments section!