July 24, 2008 Kia is exhibiting its KEE concept car at the British International Motor Show, from July 23 to August 3. The re-interpreted 2 + 2 coupe embodies the company’s new design philosophy – sleek, light and sporty.
The KEE was designed by Peter Schreyer, and the public were first given a glimpse at the 2007 IAA in Frankfurt. KIA is hoping to gauge public reaction to the vehicle so it can decide on a strategy for bringing it to market, or incorporating its features into other models. The car features a 2.7-litre V6 MUE-II engine, which produces 200 ps and delivers instant response. An ergonomically designed lever controls the six-speed sequential gearbox with forward and backward nudges. An electronic starter button is situated at the top of the computer mouse-like lever.
The use of light-weight aluminium and plastic components delivers a low kerb weight and allows a rapid and controlled driving style. The 20-inch wheels sport hand cut Continental tyres, and in keeping with the concept car’s flexibility, it could be built with rear or all-wheel drive.
The most attention-grabbing feature of the car is its distinctive headlamps and LED cluster, with the new style grille slated to become the “new face” of KIA. Peter Schreyer said: “I want motorists to be able to identify Kia cars almost unconsciously. It doesn’t matter what type of vehicle they see – right across the Kia range there should be a very obvious style and image that will encourage drivers to identify with the Kia brand and instantly understand the function of the vehicle at the same time as they admire its lines.”
“Although KEE is a sports coupe it could have been anything. We have already seen elements of our design development in Mesa and Kue shown at successive Detroit shows. Cee’d and its concept spin-offs, including the ex_cee’d cabriolet, have also started the process. But KEE is central to our future.”