What you see here isn’t a poorly photochopped Audi Q7. No, what you see here is a sneak peak at the 2010 Kia Sorento featuring Kia’s new corporate grille courtesy of Peter Schreyer. Peter who? Peter Schreyer. I know his name sounds kind of German for someone who designs Korean cars, but that’s because he is German. You might even have seen some of his designs before because he did a stint at VW/Audi. Heard of the Audi TT? The original was his design. So was the Bauhaus-inspired C5 Audi A6 of 1998-2004. Not a bad resume and it’s also one that makes more sense when you see some of the designs he is pumping out for Kia, his place of work since 2006.
Follow the jump to see Schreyer’s No 3 small-car concept, Forte sedan, and redesigned Sorento CUV.
Let’s start with the 2010 Sorento, codenamed the XM. The new Sorento will be a pretty big change for the little Kia crossover. Not only will there be significant changes to the exterior thanks to Mr. Schreyer, but the new Sorento will also move to a unibody platform from its current body-on-frame underpinnings. The profile, especially the wheel arches, draw obvious cues from the Q7 while the rear is reminiscent of the MkV Golf. Neither of which are criticisms. In fact, they could almost be considered compliments for a Korean vehicle not known for turning heads. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I guess the Q7 should be blushing. There’s no doubt that the Sorento will be dry to drive but at least it won’t be so bad to look at, if these sketches are any indication. The new Sorento will be powered by a 170 hp 4-banger or the 275 hp 3.8L V6 from the Hyundai Genesis sedan.
This is the No 3 Concept car that will debut at the Geneva Auto Show in a couple of weeks. It is a preview of a new small hatchback that Kia will use to spearhead its new initiative in BRIC countries. You’ll also notice the same corporate grille that the Sorento wears on its snout. The best feature of this concept is the huge glass roof separated only by a singe bar. As cool as the diagonal supporting bar is, there’s no way it will see production. Regardless, the No 3 appears to be a well-designed little car that reminds me a bit of the Mercedes B-class. There are worse things you could say about a Kia.
The Forte is Kia’s Spectra replacement and borrows more than a few design cues from the Honda Civic. While not as daring as the No 3 and Sorento, it’s not that bad. Ah, who am I kidding? It’s dull as dishwater. In fact, it doesn’t appear that Schreyer ever signed off on the design. There isn’t even a sniff of Germanness in this design. Thumbs down.
Now what Kia needs is a bunch of engineers that are as interesting as Peter Schreyer is with his design. Then maybe, just maybe, Kia vehicles could be worth purchasing or at least considering. Good design is a good start, now let’s see some driver enjoyment.
[Motor Authority, Autoblog]