• Sep 29, 2005

You might remember this Kia KCV III concept from the 2004 Detroit Auto Show, and if Mr. Peter Butterfield, president/CEO of Kia Motors America gets his way, a version of this roadster might just show up on U.S. roads.

It seems Mr. Butterfield has been watching the overwhelming success of the Solstice, and wants desperately for Kia to get in the game with its own sporty sub-$20K roadster. While no such vehicle has been approved yet, it certainly has not stopped him from talking to WardsAuto about it…which is where it gets interesting. In an interview with WardsAuto, PB (sorry, couldn't resist) indicated the car would be VERY stripped — manual top, no radio, no carpet, and maybe not even windows. HUH? No radio and no window? Now, THAT is taking the term "stripped" to a new level. 



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  • 25 Comments
      • 9 Years Ago
      Better example: they sell the Ariel Atom in Britain. I must have had quite a brain fart to pick the 340R (it actually has body panels) over the Atom (take one part scaffolding, one part VTEC, and one part supercharger. mix in a shed with 7 blokes).
      • 9 Years Ago
      It'd have to be wayyy under $20k and RWD. Who has the guts to build a modern-day Sprite or Midget?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Hey, Eric... I don't think all those FWD 4 & 5 seat convertibles you mentioned sold well BECAUSE they're FWD. I think they sold well IN SPITE of that fact - because there are no comparable (small & relatively inexpensive) RWD alternatives available. The closest you could get is a Mustang convertible - as you mentioned. It's hard to find a true driving enthusiest who prefers FWD over RWD. RWD is simply better - and more fun.
      • 9 Years Ago
      The Lotus reference is thought provoking. How about a Korean update of another number Lotus? I'm thinking 7. Move an existing FWD engine and drivetrain to the back as Fiat did with 128 components to arrive at the X-19. Striped down to the minimum equipment. Keep it minimal. Why not topless - if all the other complicated stuff is eliminated or made watertight why can't an interior be made weather-proof? Beside, there are other alternatives to a top - how about the return of the tonneau cover?
      • 9 Years Ago
      "Some of us live in climates that make FWD a huge advantage." Those climates make cloth tops a huge disadvantage. You're looking at the wrong car.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Subaru called, they want their nose back.
      • 9 Years Ago
      GM should find out who styled that thing and hire him/her. Excellent and innovative design IMO.
      • 9 Years Ago
      They stole the front off a Puegeot sports car, the rest of the body off the SLK350 with a touch of the new Eclipse at the rear view mirror area. Real nice *sarcasm*
      • 9 Years Ago
      I only have two concerns for this vehicle. First, the drivetrain needs to be rear-wheel drive. The last thing America needs is another front-wheel drive car. Second, I'm all for this thing being as stripped as possible. In an automotive climate where cars are just getting heavier every year (I know, I know... some sports cars aren't, but almost all mainstream cars are, so keep quiet), a truly stripped, lightweight performance car would sell well. The only real competition this vehicle has is the Miata and the Solstice, and possibly the MC convertible. There are other convertibles out there, but they are not in the same category due to their lack of sportiness. If this Kia can keep to the company line of cheap and surprisingly good initial quality, this vehicle will be a true success.
      • 9 Years Ago
      #15 hahaha so true. It seems everybody is ripping subaru off but ripping off their styling.. wow i though i'd never see this day :)
      • 9 Years Ago
      RE: FWD in conv's. I guess that invites the question: What is Kia going for, a roadster or a sporty styled convertible? The addition of 2 back seats kind of gives the game away, I think. I agree that the more capable sports cars will always be RWD, however the blanket statement that it's hard to find true driving enthusiasts who drive FWD is false. You need to watch some SCCA events, particularly the Improved Touring classes, where you'll see plenty of VW's, Nissans, Acuras, and Minis with FWD. Enough of my rant, I'm not out to start a flame war, just defending some of my fellow FWD driving afficionado's.
      • 9 Years Ago
      So which windows we talkin here? I hope they dont want to get rid of the windscreen. That does sound kinda cool, a truly elemental roadster a guy like me with an avg salary could add to the stable.
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