Cool Concepts – Kia KOUP


My, what big letters your model name uses!

Like Saturn which names its models in caps, Kia is starting to show off a concept car that they hope will garner the Korean automaker plenty of attention. The Kia KOUP is a sexy, stylish concept car now making the rounds of the auto shows. If it is receives a green light for production, this car could go a long way toward reforming Kia’s budget image.

Kia KOUP – What’s With The Name?

The variation of coupe in the KOUP’s name is likely to stir some controversy. Personally, I don’t like it, but I do think that the car is attractive. This car reminds me of Kia’s sister company’s coupe, the Hyundai Tiburon, but the Kia model certainly has the better looking lines. Kia would do well to come up with another name should the coupe go into production.

The Kia concept is powered by a 2.0-liter Theta II turbocharged engine producing 290 horsepower paired with a GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) twin scroll turbocharger designed to deliver superior power and fuel efficiency. By means of 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. Lower grille openings enable additional air intake for extra power. Kia claims that the KOUP delivers torque of 289 lb-ft at a low 2,000 rpm sustained to 4,000 rpm.

These numbers put the KOUP squarely in Mitsubishi Eclipse territory, one of the car’s likely competitors. The Eclipse has performed well for Mitsubishi and the KOUP could do the same for Kia. Besides, when you think of Kia the term “low-budget” comes to mind. The new coupe can help to burnish Kia’s image like no car before it.

Where To See It?

Having made its debut at the 2008 New York International Auto Show, expect that Kia will show the car at major venues over the coming months. If public reception for the car is good, then expect that production will begin as soon as possible. This could mean that the oddly named KOUP will hit US streets as early as 2010, a car delivering good looks, performance, and fuel economy for a value price.