Design & Technology / Product

Venga’s Design Story-Exterior May 6th, 2010

By Kia Design Center

Kia Venga: Taking the MPV beyond Versatility

We designers love to think outside the box. For us, creativity implies the playful rethinking of an established approach and the motivation to defy conventions. When we started the Venga project, we were greatly inspired by the challenges to design the most attractive compact MPV.

Venga is the second model following cee’d from Kia targeting drivers in Europe. Our goal was to develop a car that would appeal to local consumers while promoting Kia’s young, sporty and innovative design identity. In particular, we wanted a car that would suit European aesthetics. The answer was a small MPV that combined a simple and modern style with practicality and convenience.

Since the Venga is Kia’s first product in the B-MPV segment, it gave us the opportunity to start with a “blank sheet of paper.” Our vision of the Venga was to offer consumers a winning combination of style and practicality. We were keen to break with the established traditions of B-Segment MPVs in that it is not only purchased out of necessity, but also because it is genuinely desirable and fun to drive.

What is the recipe to create a “cool car”?

It sounds simple:
– big wheels,
– wide track,
– wide shoulder,
– bold body and
– small greenhouse

All these features have a great impact on attractive proportions. So we asked ourselves: Why don’t we use the same recipe to make the Venga irresistible?

The long wheelbase and the wide track give the car a stable, purposeful, sporty stance.
Skilful packaging also ensures that the Venga redefines the B-MPV category by offering a new level of interior roominess. Proportionally we designed a dynamic silhouette instead of the typical one-box family MPV.

Our intention was to create a sculptural body side with a wedge-shaped shoulder and emphasized wheel arches. Instead of a tall, glassy cabin, we designed a tighter greenhouse with a kick-up passenger window, and both the front and rear windshield angles are as ”fast” as you would expect from much sportier cars.

Short overhangs combined with a broad stance, enhancing the overall feeling of ‘eagerness’ to get moving. The combination of reduced glass surface with a bold body enhances the over-all sporty appearance.

We further emphasized this agile appearance at the front by the diagonally sitting headlamps that wrap around into the A-pillar, and the lower grill that forms a big unit with the fog lamps.

Already the first sketches showed us the potential of our design direction, and we really enjoyed carving these into a three-dimensional sculpture.

This passion and fun that we put into the project is also clearly evident when you get in to the car. The interior package of the Kia Venga is unique within it’s class in that it offers a surprising combination of sportiness, whilst at the same time meeting the segment-given expectations like versatility and space efficiency.

Further maximizing the potential of the interior space, Venga includes unique features such as a sliding and folding rear bench to further enhance the flexibility of the car, and a panoramic glass roof, which lets light flood in to the interior, virtually extending it up in to the sky.

With the Venga, we are making a statement by bringing excitement in to the B-Segment. The two most important design awards that we received for the Venga design – the IF product design award and the Red Dot design award – make us confident that we’ve set a new standard in it’s class.

Already those designers from our team who previously never would have dreamed of driving such a “family car” love to drive their new Kia Vengas. For them, the Venga is just a really cool car they want to be seen in!

  • jtz

    That is one heck of a design. One heck of a design I tell you. I can’t wait until we see some next generation Rio spy shots.

  • BernardP

    If Mercedes-Benz can sell its overpriced B200 in Canada, It seems Kia could also find a market in North America for the more attractive and lower-priced Venga.

    It could be another niche/cult product for Kia. Just be sure to put a proper engine in it. The 2.4 L from the Forte would be great, with a choice of manual and automatic transmissions.

  • Greg

    How about selling it as the Rio in the United states? The current Rio is starting to become like moldy bread. Giving it a facelift was like attempting to paint a rock and call it a gem.

  • Exterior design has a major impact on the decision to buy a product, but I think it should begin with an assessment of need before exploiting desire.
    Currently, my needs are defined by how I use my vehicle, and how much vehicle I can afford.
    For my needs, it should first be economical to buy and to operate; for economic operation, I think this requires some innovations in the powertrain design for maximum efficiency: variable valve timing, perhaps variable displacement (shutting down some cylinders while cruising), intercooled 2-stage turbocharging or Miller-cycle design.
    For economic pricing, it should be based on an existing platform, sharing as many components and/or parts as possible.
    Most of the time I drive by myself, commuting to work- this is about 90% of my driving. For this a 2-seat car would suffice (1984 Pontiac Fiero or 1994 Mercury Capri come to mind).
    Rarely I carry a passenger, rarely still I will carry more than one- this represents less than 5% of my driving; still, it would be nice to have seating for 4. Any 4-5 seat sedan would do.
    About as often as I carry passengers, I haul things like building materials (sacks of sand, gravel, or concrete mix, 4′ x 8′ sheets of plywood, 8′ to 12′ lengths of lumber). A van or minivan would work for this.
    Sometimes I have to haul taller things, like refrigerators; a pickup would do for most of those projects.
    I believe what I’m describing is a people-carrying medium-size FWD van that converts to a cargo-carrying van (seats that fold into the floor) and converts easily and quickly into a pickup truck (roof comes off, cabin is partitioned off).
    Design and build it, it will sell.
    Otherwise, I need 3 (maybe 4) vehicles, only one of which I would use most of the time. Right now I have 2, a sedan (2003 Buick Century) and a van (1995 Pontiac Trans Sport).
    For the 2-seat commuter vehicle- buy the rights to the van der Brink Carver, power it with the Rio powertrain, sell it in the US for under $20K.