The iF product design awards will honour Kia in the Transportation Design category after organisers received over 2,700 entries for the awards.
The Sportage and Optima both feature Kia’s new design language, the brainchild of chief designer Peter Schreyer, and the impressive looks are one of the main reasons judges chose Kia.
However, the awards also cover innovation, eco-friendliness, safety, workmanship and quality of build when deciding the winners of the 16 different categories.
The Kia Sportage is the only model of the two currently on sale, but it was chosen because it was the first to showcase Kia’s new car design, including a distinctive front end and commanding driving position often seen in larger SUVs.
"We’ve created a vehicle with a sports car-like ratio between sheet metal and glass," explains Peter Schreyer, Kia’s Chief Design Officer. The feeling of safety and protection the design projects is backed up by hard data: the new Sportage received "5 Stars," the highest possible rating, in its recent Euro NCAP crash test."
The Optima saloon, meanwhile, is a new car from the manufacturer, first introduced at the Paris Motor Show in October and set to go on sale next year as Kia expands the number of markets it offers cars in.
Kia’s new eye-catching design for its cars has already won top industry design awards, including the incredibly prestigious red dot award for the Kia Soul compact crossover and Kia Venga, which also won an iF award in 2010.
The Korean manufacturer, says Senior Vice-President & Chief Operating Officer Tae-Hyun Oh, is now seeing the benefits of a focus on design introduced in the early 2000s.
He said: "Kia’s enhanced brand reputation is being driven by the stunning designs being created by our design teams around the world, led by Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer."
The latest accolade will be officially presented in March 2011 at the iF product design awards, which have been running each year since 1953.