As Peter Schreyer, a former BMW executive, is now with Kia, it now appears that the Korean automaker is in a familiar path when it comes to styling and performance. Since the beginning, the Kia Stinger GT had always been a hit, and rumours of a performance sub-brand, similar to Hyundai’s N line, are on the table. Speaking of styling, Kia’s current look will remain, especially their signature “Tiger Nose” grille, says Schreyer.
As has been confirmed, the Tiger Nose grille will not be changed any time soon. If you haven’t noticed, this design element can be found in most Kia models, from the new K900 to the Stinger, and even the entry level Rio. Schreyer is adamant that this design is what will make Kia models identifiable, similar to BMW’s kidney grille that sets it apart from the others.
Schreyer shared how the tiger nose grille should serve Kia similar to how effective the kidney grilles were for the BMW brand. The design element is not just appealing as Schreyer says that it is also flexible. He then added that he could not say the same about BMW’s styling element.
This is because Kia has more freedom with their tiger nose grill unlike the kidney grilles that are much more fixed. Upon saying that, he clarified that the tiger nose grille can be made higher, lower, wider, bigger or smaller. It can also be paired with various headlights. What’s important is to have the two things upfront.
Schreyer also believes that the tiger nose grille will be around for a long time, and that this will be good for Kia’s branding. In fact, he mentioned having a workshop recently with designers with regards to their future plans, and one thing they all agreed on was to keep the tiger nose as a feature indefinitely.
In China, marketing executives seem to want the Kia models to have a larger tiger nose grille with more chrome, but Schreyer disagrees with this. As he does not believe that bigger equates to better. In fact, if you look at some of the successful cars in China, they do not have big grilles either.
He gave an example saying that the K900 and the Sedona grilles are probably the biggest ones you will see in any of their current and future models. He thinks that it is a common misperception that bigger grilles are better. Schreyer even mentioned Lexus’ spindle grille, saying that he does not know where they’ll go from there. In fact, he stated that he was shocked to see that they actually did such a thing.