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Kia Koup Concept (NYIAS)

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The Kia Koup Concept

By Joe Dematio

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0803_01_z%202008_kia_Koup_concept%20fron

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The Kia Koup concept (Koncept?) that debuted at the 2008 New York auto show accomplishes two things for Kia. First, it gives us a good idea of how the next-generation Kia Spectra will look, which is to say, a lot sexier than the current one. Second, it also reveals the new corporate "face" for Kia.

We caught up with Kia's worldwide design director, Peter Schreyer, a veteran of Audi's design studios, at Kia's cocktail party near Javits Center the night before the official unveiling of the Koup. Kia positioned the car in a special presentation room that was awash in red lights, so it was difficult to tell what color the actual car is, because it looked kinda pink. This morning at the official unveiling, it became clear that the Koup is actually bright red, and it sports a full glass roof. At the party, the Koup was draped, but the drape was teasingly pulled back enough to show part of the front-three-quarter view, the side greenhouse, and the rear flanks and trunk. With its muscular, defined corners and sharply drawn sheetmetal, the Koup looks great and is clearly much closer to production than, say, the Kia Kee that debuted at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show last September.

"The Koup was designed at our California studio. Koup [with a K] is a play on Kia, but this is actually a preview of the next Spectra," says Schreyer. This is a two-door, but the production car will be a four-door, although Schreyer allows that "we will see what the reaction is from the media and the public here at the show. If it is positive, we might also consider a coupe version. But the sedan is for sure and will come within a year's time." Kia insiders indicate that a Spectra coupe version is quite likely, about six months after the Spectra sedan, and it should look virtually identical to the Koup concept.

"What I like about the Koup is its proportion and stance," Schreyer continues. "The front shows for the first time our new grille [Kia calls it a 'tabbed grille'], a theme that I want to follow as a signature family face for Kia worldwide. I want Kia to have an identity, like when you see a Mercedes or BMW or Audi or Volvo coming toward you and it is immediately identifiable-that would be nice for Kia. We do not currently have that kind of awareness, which makes a brand a lot stronger."

When asked about Kia's relationship with Hyundai, in terms of design, Schreyer insists that Kia will go its own way: "I have a strong idea about what I want to do. I am trying to implement this [design theme] around the world, at our three design studios [Korea, Europe, USA]. We will have our own style [as compared with Hyundai] and our own form language. That is the only way that we can effectively differentiate ourselves from [corporate parent] Hyundai."

By the looks of the Kia Koup, we'd say that Schreyer is on the right track. This is actually a sexier car than the Genesis coupe that Hyundai unveiled at the New York show.

Check out the Kia Koup concept in the gallery below.

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while all automakers say it cant be done for safety/weight/cost concerns, wouldnt it be a marvelous stroke of irony if KIA proves budget pillarless hardtops viable again? i know this is just a concept, but just day dreaming..

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is it me or is that face ripped off a civic? :unsure:

Yeah, Hyundai/Kia has gotten very good at copying the other imports.

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Yeah, Hyundai/Kia has gotten very good at copying the other imports.

Well the designer is from Audi and yet he cannot be original.

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Well the designer is from Audi and yet he cannot be original.

The C-pillar & quarter window shape looks like it's from the A5...

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The author of the article states that this is "sexy." Granted the stance is alright, but this has all of the sex appeal of Mrs. Doubtfire in a two-piece bikini.

Edited by YellowJacket894
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The author of the article states that this is "sexy." Granted the stance is alright, but this has all of the sex appeal of Mrs. Doubtfire in a two-piece bikini.

Hellooooooh!!!!

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Looks like a replacement for the RSX. The headlights are shaped just like the TSX and the rear lighting looks like the MCE RSX. All it would need is a hatchback and that ugly Acura grille.

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The author of the article states that this is "sexy." Granted the stance is alright, but this has all of the sex appeal of Mrs. Doubtfire in a two-piece bikini.

Great, thanks, now that I have that image in my head, I need to drink some beer to kill of those brain cells.

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The author of the article states that this is "sexy." Granted the stance is alright, but this has all of the sex appeal of Mrs. Doubtfire in a two-piece bikini.

Damnit YJ! My only hope to get "Live and Let Die" out of my head was sleeping.. because of that image, im not gonna be sleeping for a LONGGGGGGGGGG time! :censored::hissyfit:

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From the rear, this looks like the RSX replacement that never was.

Even the greenhouse and C-pillar say 'Acura' in a TL kind of way.

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080301z2008kiakoupconceir1.jpg

:rolleyes: Screams CSX to me...

And sorry, Saab fans...

080301z2008kiakoupconcefr1.jpg

Point being is, car design is just so generic these days..

Edited by ToniCipriani
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Oh my!

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080301z2008kiakoupconceir1.jpg

:rolleyes: Screams CSX to me...

And sorry, Saab fans...

080301z2008kiakoupconcefr1.jpg

Point being is, car design is just so generic these days..

While the headlights look natural around a SAAB grille, the rest of the car doesn't look like a SAAB. This is definitely derivative of the Civic, though...but f@#k it, it looks good!

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If this were the Pontiac G5, I'd be all excited. But alas, it isn't. All I can do is admire it from afar, as with Kia's Pro C'eed (sp?) hatch sold in Europe. This Koup strikes a nice balance between "sporty" and "safe" that could make it a popular production car, and how can we argue with the powertrain (except to wish for a manual trans option)?
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This is actually rumorred to be Kia's version of Hyundai's Genesis coupe. Well, to me, it's 10X uglier, but oh well.... They are saying this is sportier than the Hyundai, I can't find any reason to call it sexy.

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