One guy in the automotive industry deserving of a pay rise – or at least a beer – is Kia (and Hyundai’s) chief designer Peter Schreyer. He was tasked with the seemingly impossible job of transforming South Korean cars from cookie-cutter imitations into something sleek, sexy and appealing to a worldwide audience. With the success of Kia’s Optima SXL, the way was paved to enter a more premium segment. The car they chose to do it with is the Cadenza.
Once again, Schreyer nailed it with the design, blending style, function and form to garner enough attention to entice a bunch of tired, overweight journalists to rise from their chairs for a snapshot shared with their 37 followers on Instagram. No easy feat.
The interior, however, is perhaps what’s most impressive with the Cadenza. It’s an area where the budget-minded folk at Kia have cut corners in the past. And while I didn’t get a chance to sit in the car, what I did see was a marked improvement in the quality of materials, and the feeling of luxury it evoked.
Under the hood is a 3.3-liter V6, mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox. It produces a solid 293 hp and 255 lb. ft of torque. Pricing will be available nearer the time of launch — in the second quarter of this year — but one thing Kia promised; it will still maintain the brands reputation for affordability. Next time I see Peter Schreyer, the drinks are on me.