Designing Kias

Ever since Peter Schreyer has been at Kia (it will be 10 years next year!), the designs coming out of its studios have been nothing short of impressive.

Ever since Peter Schreyer has been at Kia (it will be 10 years next year!), the designs coming out of its studios have been nothing short of impressive. There almost isn’t a vehicle in the company’s lineup that doesn’t have presence in a way that exceeds what is the norm in the category.

(I recently talked to the global design leader for a competitive company and mentioned that I had just been looking at the design of the Kia Rio, the entry car. “We really like that car. I especially like the tension in the rear quarter.” What was striking was that I put the Rio in contrast to a vehicle that the designer’s company had produced.)

Anyway, this week Kia took the wraps off the 2016 Optima. Since model year 2011, the Optima has certainly been a midsize car that, while perhaps not mentioned as often as the Aston-Martin-apparently influenced Ford Fusion, is one that is seriously striking.

Here is what a sketch for the 2016 Kia Optima looks like:

A

And here’s the real thing:

2