With former BMW executive Peter Schreyer now at the helm, Kia is moving in the right direction – both in terms of performance and styling. The Stinger GT has been a hit from the start, and rumors of a performance sub-brand, similar to Hyundai’s N line, are also on the table. But in regards to styling, Schreyer confirmed that the current look will stick around, particularly the signature "Tiger Nose" grille.
In an interview with CarBuzz, Schreyer said that the Tiger Nose grille is here to stay for the foreseeable future. The styling element can be found on almost every Kia model, from the new K900, to the Stinger, to even the entry-level Rio. Schreyer says that the fixture is a brand-identifying feature, similar to the German marque he once worked for.
"I think [the tiger nose grille] should be the kidney grilles," he said in the interview. "Even if BMW is kind of watering them down at the moment [...] I am very happy and I think it is very good for Kia that we have [the tiger nose]."
Not only is the new design element generally appealing, but it’s also flexible, says Schreyer. The same can’t be said about BMW’s signature styling element. "Of course, we have the freedom as compared to the kidney grilles that are more fixed. They cannot break. The tiger nose is much more variable. You can make it higher, lower, wider, smaller, pair it with different headlamps, whatever. As long as you have the two things in the middle, it always works."
In China, while marketing executives are pushing for larger versions of the Tiger Nose, with more chrome, Schreyer isn’t convinced that bigger equates to better – the new K900 and the Sedona grilles are about as big as they will get. Schreyer used Lexus’ spindle grille as an example, saying, "I don’t know where they go from there. For me, when I first saw it, I was quite surprised and shocked. They actually did this."