Kia: We'll stick to sports car concept's winning formula


Kia's Californian design chief has promised the GT4 Stinger sports car concept will change very little if it ever gets the green light for production from Korea.
> Speaking after the car's reveal at the Detroit Motor Show, Tom Kearns, who led the project from the brand's American design studio, said he was confident it wouldn't change too much for production.

Kearns said: "It's a total concept at this point but when we did it we did it with production in the forefront of our mind.

"Things like the lights would have to be changed for production, but even the see-through A pillars have been thought through properly."

Kearns also revealed that the roof could be lopped off the concept to create a true MX-5 drop top rival.

And he explained that sister firm Hyundai's Genesis Coupe would make a good platform to build the car on, further hinting that full production is being considered.

Kearns agreed that pricing would be key to the GT4 Stinger's success, adding: "A lot of people should be able to afford this car so it needs to be sub $30,000.

"It's a sports car that's value orientated and with buyers likely to be males around 25 years old it needs to appeal on price and style."

The American designer also explained that the Californian design team of six were pretty much left to their own devices with the concept.

Peter Schreyer – design supreme for Hyundai-Kia – saw the concept a few times during the year-long process, but had 'little influence'.

"He was happy with what he saw so let us get on with it," said Kearns.

The wait is now on for the team to see if the chiefs in Korea give the car the go-ahead. With not-so-trivial issues like where the car could actually be built causing headaches, the procedure might not be as smooth as the Californians would hope, but we don't think Kearn's too worried.

"I leave those sorts of headaches to others in the company – my job is to make cars look cool," he said.

And we can certainly verify he's done just that...