Kia fam­ily up for the Koup

A con­cept hints at the fu­ture of the South Korean, writes NEIL McDON­ALD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

IT MAY only be a con­cept at this stage, but the highly de­tailed Kia Koup points to a fu­ture twodoor sports coupe from the South Korean fam­ily.

Orig­i­nat­ing from the Kia Mo­tors Amer­ica De­sign Cen­tre in Irvine, Cal­i­for­nia, the strik­ing Koup con­cept sur­prised show­go­ers at the New York In­ter­na­tional Auto Show and firmly il­lus­trates the shape and evo­lu­tion of fu­ture Kias.

Look­ing from some an­gles like a two-door Mit­subishi Lancer, the ag­gres­sive, pil­lar­less Koup is a prac­ti­cal four-seater.

Kia Mo­tors Amer­ica chief de­signer Tom Kearns ad­mits the car is a taste of fu­ture Kias.

‘‘Kia is de­sign­ing cars to ap­peal to driv­ers who want stylish looks and ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy,’’ he says.

How­ever, the Koup styling

is likely to ap­pear first in the new, small, four-door Spec­tra sedan, co­de­named TD — which fea­tures a strong wedge-shape, short boot and long an­gu­lar front end — in 2010.

The Koup com­bines bal­anced pro­por­tions and a fluid de­sign that hints at an al­most pro­duc­tion-ready front-wheel-drive sports coupe.

Adding fur­ther fuel to the flames is the fact the car also has six­airbags, elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol, adap­tive head­lights and a tyre­pres­sure mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem.

The in­de­pen­dent front sus­pen­sion gets MacPher­son struts and the rear has a dual link setup, bor­rowed from Kia’s parts bin.

The sus­pen­sion fea­tures con­tin­u­ous damp­ing con­trol.

Front-on the car has a bold, dy­namic stance with car­bon-fi­bre and black-chrome LED head­lights.

From the side there is a dis­tinct wedge-shaped profile with short front and rear over­hangs and 19-inch al­loys with a Brembo brake pack­age.

Inside there is plenty of car­bon- fi­bre de­tail­ing, sports seats, smart key ig­ni­tion with push-but­ton start and six-speed se­quen­tial gear­box with steer­ing wheel-mounted pad­dles.

The car is pow­ered by a 2.0-litre Theta II turbo- charged four­cylin­der.

Koup fi­nal: the Kia Koup con­cept sug­gests a two-door sports coupe might be on the way.

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