Steane Klose | Mar 31, 2008

Kia haven’t been backwards in coming forwards over recent months when it comes to concept cars. Following hot on the heels of their SOUL concepts comes the Kia Koup concept, debuted by Kia at the 2008 New York Auto Show.

Originating from the Kia Motors America Design Centre in Irvine California, the KOUP concept embodies Kia's philosophy of "Exciting and Enabling" with its balanced proportions and fluid design set to evoke an emotional driving experience.

"The Kia KOUP concept represents the future of the Kia brand and its dynamic vehicles that speak to our core philosophies. Kia strives to appeal to the emotional side of car enthusiasts who seek adventure and want to take a leap into the future with style and advanced technology, and the KOUP effectively delivers," said Tom Kearns, chief designer of Kia Motors America (KMA).

The KOUP features an uncomplicated yet dynamic wedge shape along its sides stemming from its carbon fibre and black chrome enhanced LED lamp lenses.

While the KOUP's overall form is simple and precise, it makes a design statement with positive tension created by what Kia refer to as a "swoosh" that swoops from the C-Pillar forward, down to the A-Pillar and flares all the way back around to the rear deck lid.

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The KOUP also features a panoramic-view glass with two panels extending from the windshield through the roof to the backlight, appearing as two parallel pieces of glass – Kia like to think it is reminiscent a fighter jet.

The KOUP features a realistic interior design that integrates high-style materials, including rich and supple seat fabrics accentuated with concrete and black-colour trims. As a befitting a driver's car, the front seats contrast the rear seats with opposing colours and patterning and horizontal, padded silicone bars occupy the seat backs for extra comfort. High-tech details are integrated into the interior, including convenient smart key with push button start, and a six-speed automatic transmission with steering column-mounted paddle shifters.

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The KOUP is powered by a 2.0-liter Theta II turbocharged engine producing 216kW/290hp paired with a GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) twin scroll turbocharger for greater power and efficiency, the KOUP delivers astonishing torque of 392Nm from as low as 2,000 rpm.

By injecting fuel directly into the cylinder under high pressure using the Kia GDI system, the intake charge is cooled and combustion behavior is improved. Improved combustion assures excellent fuel economy and low emissions.

The KOUP also benefits from Continuous Damping Control (CDC) along with sport-tuned, four-wheel independent suspension and strut tower bar. On the safety front, the KOUP has been well equipped. There is a six airbag package, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) as well as Electronic Stability Control (ESC). Also included is adaptive front lighting and cruise control.

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