Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Maestro Knows Best

Kia Optima coupe—When I started this chop, I had every intention of changing the side window profile, to differentiate it from the sedan. I tried a full side window extending almost to the trunk. I tried adding a severely rising beltline and a pointed rear window, much like a 1971-72 Dodge Charger. I tried making the rear side window much narrower and more formal. Nothing worked as well as the original window profile Peter Schreyer used on his sedan. He is truly the master of design these days—you can't mess with the maestro! 

In the end, in addition to deleting the rear doors and making the front doors longer, I changed mostly the details. I moved the Kia logo from the hood into the grille; the way Schreyer's new Kia grilles narrow in the middle, almost the same as 1960s Dodge "barbells," makes a natural position for the oval logo. It emphasizes it and cleans up the hood. I also slightly changed the taillight lenses, adding neutral glass for most of the space. I tweaked the wheels, but seeing as I've often taken these wheels for other chops, I left them in position for this one. I adjusted the colors of the jpeg, added the pattern to the surface the car is sitting on and added some shadowing. Oh yeah, I deleted the silly front fender vents, I'm sure they're not functional. That's about it!


  1. OK, here is what I hope is an intelligent question. When you guys are chopping these cars for design purposes, right? - are there times when what you come up with wouldn't be functionally/mechanically sound to build in to a car? I'm just curious.

  2. Casey,

    I think this is spectacular, as is the sedan. It certainly looks production-ready. I can't wait to see the sedan in person at the Atlanta auto show in a couple of weeks. I think I'll print this picture and give it to the KIA people!

    Paul, NYC

  3. Annie, I try to think about production considerations, if the doors would have enough room for the windows to roll down into, that sort of thing. But I'm not even close to being an engineer, so I really don't know about how sound my designs would be in reality.

  4. Great work Casey, I really like how you transformed this design into something more personal and elegant! Good job!

  5. Thanks, I was just curious about that when I look at the chops.