In 2006, Peter Schreyer left a job at Volkswagen to become design director at Kia Motors. The jump from a car company with legendary design to a budget brand was controversial, but it gave Schreyer a chance to completely remake Kia’s image. He started with facelifts in 2008, then reimagined the entire Kia range in 2010 – including the striking Optima midsize sedan. At the top of Kia’s fleet is the new Quoris (or K9 in South Korea). The Quoris advances Kia’s design language, so we had Schreyer walk us through the carmaker’s new flagship. – Steve Rousseau
As illustrated above:
The Quoris is rear-wheel drive, so it has that luxury-sedan proportion with the front end pushed downward, a long bonnet, and a short overhang. You get this expression of classic dignity with sporty proportion.
B. Belt line
Our design is built on the relationship between the body and the windows. The Quoris has a fairly high belt line. The ratio of body to windows – two-thirds to one-third – gives it that sense of motion and a strong C-pillar.
Where the wheels are positioned on the body controls how low-slung and planted the car looks. On the Quoris, the wheels are pushed out towards the edges of the body, so it has a really stable stance.
D. Signature face
Kia faces are always similar but different. On the Optima, the grille and the headlights are connected – no metal in between. The Quoris has sheet metal all the way around. It looks refined, solid and more sophisticated.
E. Chrome accent
On the Optima, there’s a chrome strip from the A-pillar to the C-pillar. The Quoris has a chrome frame that surrounds the side window. It’s a difference in attitude: the way you dress when you’re 25 versus when you’re 40.
F. Soft, sculpted features
The body is sculpted softer than on past Kias. You can run the back of your hand over the sheet metal and you feel the smoothness. But there’s still a strict architecture of shapes and lines.