The Frankfurt Auto show, which runs from September 15 through 25 features a number of concept cars offered by European manufacturers. Los Angeles car buyers with an eye to the future should be able to find their dream machine among the lineup. I am presenting a sampling, ranging from A (Audi) to V (Volvo).
The Kia GT Concept is a first for Kia: a rear-drive four-door coupe. The sporty vehicle is powered by a turbocharged, direct-injected 3.3-liter V-6, which cranks out 390 HP and 394 lb-ft of torque. The power is routed to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Its low-slung stance contributes to the sporty look: height, 54.3 inches; length, 184.6 inches. The wheels are way cool; they are a multi-piece design, resembling propellers, and feature lightweight alloy and carbon-fiber construction. Instead of side mirrors, the front fenders sport a pair of sleek, rearview cameras, which resemble fins on an airplane. Small LED screens are placed on the inside of the front doors, displaying the view from the rearview cameras. Other way-cool features are suicide doors and B-pillarless body construction. The front doors open in the conventional manner; however, the rear doors are rear-hinged and open out and slightly upward.
It is a four-seater—each passenger can settle back in their own one-piece bucket seat.
Kia describes the cockpit layout as driver-centric: buttons and controls have been kept to a minimum. A small, concave, tri-spoke steering wheel places control of central data display via buttons within fingertip reach of the driver. A large red ignition button does double duty; it also functions as an electronic gear selector knob, which allows the driver to both start the car and put it in gear.
Copper is a recurring theme. The metallic color is used to highlight the GT’s sloping rear roofline; it streams from the A-pillar all the way to the bottom of the rear window. The brake calipers contain a copper finish; the windshield and windows have a copper tint. The front bucket seats are metallic-treated leather seats that have a golden-brownish hue. Kia’s goal with the theme was to create a warm, welcoming interior.
Although it is currently unknown whether the GT will go into production, if it does it might successfully compete with the Audi A7, Jaguar XF, and Mercedes-Benz CLS.
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