Accusations are often levelled at automakers for producing car designs that all look the same – and this does have some truth to it.
Many years ago, I chatted to the Chief Designer of the Citroën Xsara, Art Blakeslee, and put that very question to him.
His response was that any computer aided design programme (as used by all motor manufacturers) would generate very much the same shape, style, and dimensions as the next one if the designer inputs regarding length, width, height, drag co-efficient etc were similar.
So, in a time of (possible) sameness, design awards for automobiles take on a high level of significance and are won with immense pride by the automakers – and Kia has just taken two awards in the latest Good Design Awards competition.
The Kia EV6 electric crossover and fourth-generation Kia Carnival MPV took top honours in the ‘Transportation’ category in the annual event.
The all-new EV6 is Kia’s first dedicated battery electric vehicle (BEV) and is the first Kia to be based on the brand’s new Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), delivering 528 km real-world driving range and ultra-fast recharging capabilities.
The EV6’s conceptual styling incorporates Kia’s new design philosophy ‘Opposites United’, which takes inspiration from the contrasts found in nature and humanity.
Key exterior highlights include sleek daytime running lights that form part of the car’s ‘Digital Tiger Face’, a contemporary and aerodynamic side profile, and a crossover-inspired silhouette. The interior benefits from the E-GMP platform, which facilitates a high-tech, spacious, and welcoming environment.
The all-new Kia Carnival MPV, penned at Kia’s California design studio, wears a bold and boxy appearance that conveys the visual language found on the brand’s line-up of rugged SUVs, including the Telluride, Sorento, and Seltos.
Karim Habib, Head of Kia Design Center, says: “Securing these awards is an endorsement of the approach we took with the styling of the Kia EV6 and Kia Carnival, and is a tribute to the collaborative efforts of our talented international design team.
“It truly has been a pivotal year for us; we launched our brand-new design philosophy ‘Opposites United’, the ethos of which is already transforming our cars, and we are determined to ensure Kia keeps challenging the boundaries of automotive design.”
First held in 1950, Good Design is one of the oldest design competitions in the world, organised by Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. Each year the judging panel select products and industry leaders from over 50 countries that have chartered new directions for ‘innovation, sustainability, superior design, and unparalleled function’.