[YesAuto Design Decoding] Generation Z, this term is very unfamiliar to me, a post-90s generation living in the Internet age, and this time the target group of Dongfeng Yueda Kia Kaiku (ALL NEW K5) is this generation Z. So what is the Z generation, and what breakthrough designs have the new Kia K5 Kaiku made? What special adjustments have been made to the Chinese market? With these questions, we exclusively interviewed Mr. Oleg Son, the executive officer of Kia Motors China Design Center, and asked him to help me decrypt it.
■ Design changed Kia Motors
Before we understand the unfamiliar, we start with some familiar parts. For the first two generations of Kia K5, no matter it is the post-80s or post-90s, it must be familiar to everyone. It is not an exaggeration to say that it is the arrival of the K5 that made us know the current Kia.
About 10 years ago, the choice of models was not as rich as it is now, especially in the mid-size car camp, the Accord/Camry/Passat are almost mandatory models, just when the “oldest three” steadily occupy the market. , A medium-sized car from South Korea injected fresh air into the market, and even became a trend at one time. It was the first-generation Kia K5. The full and sporty design is coupled with good power parameters, coupled with a very cost-effective sale. The price has become the choice of many mid-size cars born in the 80s/90s at that time. It is also a different idea from other slightly dull mid-size cars, which has won a good market response for the Kia K5.
This change was brought about by the famous designer, Peter Cyrill, who is known as the three major European designers, joined Kia in 2006, and through the design reform of Kia cars, this car company The sales volume has increased significantly, and it is well known by more people. The family style of “tiger-style front face” has been introduced and is still in use today. It is no exaggeration to say that he used design to change the fate of this auto company. Many years later, he also became the first foreign president in Kia's history, which shows the importance of design for Kia.
■ What is Generation Z
From 2010 to 2020, it can be said to be a decade of rapid development of the global automotive economy. The emergence of new cars and consumers who are more and more aware of their own needs have given automotive companies greater challenges. Kia, which is good at design, is also facing this challenge. From the first-generation K5 to the second-generation models, the pace of change seems to be a bit small, and the arrival of emerging consumer groups also urges them to iteratively upgrade their products.
Generation Z is the target group of the new Kia K5 Kaiku. I have also briefly learned about Generation Z. In addition to the post-95/00 post-generation group, it also refers to the generation that is more affected by the Internet today. From the perspective of consumption we are concerned about, this group pays more attention to experience and is also very frugal. They will try to tap the best value and service, have their own unique taste and pursue intelligence. So is K5 Kaiku ready for these more detailed requirements?
■ Create differentiated products
I also threw this question to Mr. Oleg Son. He replied: “We hope that when the younger generation sees this car, they will immediately feel that it is a completely different car, and are very interested in researching. It. In the design, we have added more fashion elements to meet the needs of the Z generation for differentiation. “It is true that the new K5 Kaiku has undergone a radical change compared with the previous generation models, and it can also be used in a large number of medium-sized cars. Outstanding attracts the attention of others.
And this difference is not only reflected in the changes in the details of the lights, grille, and rims, but Kia’s designers are making a fuss from the outline of the model. It uses a slip-back design, and there are no hard lines cut from the front to the rear, and the smooth lines add a sense of movement to it.
■ Lines full of muscle
Compared with overseas models, the team led by Oleg Son has made targeted adjustments to the needs of Chinese consumers, which is why Kia wants to set up multiple design centers around the world. As a global model, it has made changes to the needs of different markets to better suit local consumers.
K5 Kaiku changed the slightly rounded appearance of the previous two-generation models, and made it full of muscle through the use of a large number of flat straight lines, giving people a tight visual experience from the front to the rear. This design idea will make it more visually impactful, and it can receive more attention than other medium-sized cars. On the basis of the overseas version, the designer further increased its visual power. Below the classic “tiger-style grille”, two decorative panels have also been added to make the front of the car look more fierce.
At the same time, the heartbeat lamp set also continued this design idea to both sides. The LED lamp set has changed from four to three, and the shape is more compact. The daytime running lights also add a clever feeling to the front of the car. The three bright lights have sharp eyes.
The biggest difference between the domestic K5 Kaiku and the overseas version is actually the increase in wheelbase and body length. For the design team, maintaining the same coordination as the overseas version is also one of the most rare tasks. After all, the main growth part is behind the B-pillar. If the door is stretched hard, it is easy to cause a feeling of bloated rear. K5 Kaiku benefited from the advantages of the sliding back shape, which can reduce the change in the proportions of the body shape by extending the roof curve. In addition, the chrome trim strips extending from the front to the trunk are also hidden. Made a contribution.
Its rear design is also very dynamic. The design of the overseas performance version of the GT model is applied to the domestic 2.0T model. The exhaust and rear diffuser decorations on both sides are very bluffing, plus the appropriate rims. The specifications give the rear a sense of stability. The same paragraph-style LED taillights are also the finishing touch, which is significantly different from other models that use through-type taillights.
In terms of color selection, K5 Kaiku’s team did not use high-saturation paint. The five colors look calm. The main diamond navy blue and vibrant red texture are very good. They are a combination that will not be disgusting after a long time. . For me, Interstellar Gray works best with its muscular appearance.
■ Refreshing interior design
When talking about the interior part, Oleg Son also uses people to make a metaphor. He hopes that for a car, the exterior and interior feel as a whole, not that it has a cool exterior and interior but looks mediocre. , He wants to achieve a combination of inside and outside, just like a beautiful lady is also full of wisdom and flexibility. After all, every day car owners are more exposed to the interior. The appearance and interior of Kia K5 Kaiku is the lady he calls.
K5 Kaiku's interior does not have a particularly complicated and exaggerated design, and it feels refreshing and comfortable. Different colors and materials match show its different styles. The light-colored interior is matched with carbon fiber style veneer, the darker is matched with wood grain veneer, and the passionate red + black color scheme can satisfy consumers with different personalities. On the other hand, the soft material with stitching decoration occupies the main body of the center console, the door panel is wrapped with leather material, and the whole embracing center console also presents a good sense of space.
Including the central control screen, multimedia screen and air-conditioning control area, have made changes that are more suitable for the Chinese market. There is an obvious black border between the overseas version of the instrument panel and the multimedia screen, and functions such as volume control are also integrated on the border. K5 Kaiku places two 12.3-inch screens in a plane with a certain angle for viewing and operation. While it looks more concise, it also exhibits stronger functions. The multimedia system also cooperates with Baidu, with rich interconnection functions.
The paragraph-style ambient light is also a part that I like very much. It not only echoes the design of the rear of the car, but this segmented display form is also more technological than the traditional light strip. In addition to the set color, It can also customize various colors to increase the fun in the car.
■ Spacious and comfortable space
The flat-bottomed steering wheel is the part that highlights the sense of movement, and the buttons on the steering wheel have good feedback when pressed. The matte silver decoration at the bottom also makes the entire steering wheel not too monotonous. In addition to the changes to the multimedia part of the instrument, there are LCD instruments in the air-conditioning control area on the overseas version, and functions such as temperature adjustment are performed through touch. K5 Kaiku abandoned this design and replaced the air-conditioning temperature adjustment with a metal texture lever. The volume adjustment knob on the side of the screen was moved to the air-conditioning control area, and it became a button control, which improved the convenience and visual experience.
The high-quality perforated leather on the seat provides a good ride experience, and there are wings on both sides to support the body, providing a certain sense of wrapping. The headrest is also very thick and can be adjusted in angle. The seat also includes heating and ventilation functions. On both sides of the center console, there are also soft materials wrapped, so that the knees will not feel hard when you lean up. These aspects reflect its humanized design.
Finally, when it comes to the rear space, I told Oleg Son about my concerns about the fastback styling. He explained that the height of the K5 Kaiku is not particularly low, but the fastback styling hides a part of the height, so it is actually The height of its rear row has not been greatly affected by the ride, and the interior has also been hollowed out, leaving space above the head of the rear passengers. Coupled with the increase in the wheelbase, there is a large margin for the rear legs, which allows you to ride in the rear half-lying, so you can get more rear space. However, the size of the panoramic sunroof has been affected a bit because of the shape of the slip-back. Of course, this trade-off is still acceptable.
■ to sum up:
Peter Cyrill used design to promote the development of Kia Motors. The first-generation K5 is known to us precisely because of its design. The new generation of K5 Kaiku made further breakthroughs in design, and the Oleg Son team created a model that is more suitable for the needs of Generation Z. It has a stylish personality and differentiated product attributes that can attract the attention of many people, and it can also meet the needs of functionality and practicality. For this car, we have a lot of expectations. It will officially announce the pre-sale price at the Chengdu Auto Show on July 24. We will also continue to follow up and report on it, so stay tuned.