The KND-5 Concept from the Seoul Motor Show is, for all intents and purposes, the next Kia Amanti for the U.S. market. Thank God.
With a grin and a tone of relief, Kia's worldwide design chief, Peter Schreyer, confirmed today that the KND-5 concept currently on display at the Seoul Motor Show is indeed the car we'll see here in the States as the replacement for the long-serving, and long-ugly, Kia Amanti. Speaking on the Kia stand at the New York Auto Show, Schreyer told Automobile Magazine that the KND-5 is, essentially, in its final production form.
The sleek KND-5, which takes its numerical designation from the fact that it's the fifth vehicle in a series done at the same Kia design studio in Seoul, is a 180-degree relief from the Amanti, a rental-fleet special that is a horrifying pastiche of stolen design cues. The KND-5 is shown at the Seoul show with fabulous 20-inch wheels and the Kia/Hyundai corporate 3.5-liter V-6 under its hood.
Although the KND-5 will debut by the end of this year in Korea, we won't see the production version until a year from now, at the 2010 New York Auto Show, and it will go on sale here in fall 2010 as a 2011 model. Yep, that means we're stuck with the Amanti for another 14 to 16 months. No word yet on whether the new car will retain the Amanti name, but since Kia is dumping the Spectra nameplate in favor of the new Forte badge, we'd bet that the Amanti badge will also end up in the Kia history book.