2004 Kia Opirus
"Neo-Classicism is what Kia's new flagship model Opirus stands for," says the Geneva show press release. "It is the result of its designers' search for the `truth' in car design." We'd say it's the result of Kia designers' search through the styling studios of Mercedes-Benz, where they found the E-class's twin oval headlamps; Jaguar, for the S-type's big gaping-mouth grille; and Lincoln, for a broad and flat instrument panel, lined with fake wood, that recalls the Town Car cabin. Based on the Hyundai XG350 but slightly bigger inside and out, the Opirus makes its U.S. debut at the New York auto show in April and goes on sale here late this year. It's powered by the XG's 196-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 and a five-speed automatic. BOTTOM LINE: Flattery likely will get you somewhere; the entire Korean car industry is based on it.