Transformers: Kia in disguise

Major Waffle New cars
Kia has released images of the new Magentis concept cars and PetrolBlog is impressed. Does it represent a turning point for the brand?

The rich tea biscuit. A beige cardigan. Drizzle. Magnolia paint. Aled Jones. All safe, unassuming items. Items that kind of blend into the background. They're just there. If you woke up tomorrow and they were gone, life would go on.

Much like the Kia Magentis. As a car enthusiast, the Magentis has never really registered on my radar. One might pass me on my commute to work everyday, but I wouldn't notice. Not because Nicky Campbell is particularly entertaining, just that the Magentis seems to blend in. The automotive equivalent of magnolia paint.

At this point, using the cliched reference to Belgians, I had hoped to make a wise crack about 5 famous facts about the Magentis. Unfortunately, even the ever reliable Wikipedia could only produce one solitary factoid. It is apparently a mid-sized car produced by Kia Motors since 2002. Which is nice. Oh, it is also called the Optima in Europe and the Lotze in Australia. Blimey, I'm up to three facts already.

The thing is, over recent years, Kia has begun to register on the radars of even the most ardent petrolheads. I myself have found myself taking second glances at the oddly named (and even harder to type) pro_cee'd. I think it looks pretty damn good, especially in red or white. Then there's the Kia Soul. I happen to think that it is a funky little thing - again, best in white.

Beige is beautiful

But this week, Kia unleashed details of what could potentially be the biggest automotive transformation of all time. Trinny and Susannah would be hard pressed to deliver a turnaround this good. 10 years younger? The new Magentis could make the Audi A5 look a decade out of date.

Kia Magentis concept car

OK, so they've only released design sketches at this stage, but wow, it looks encouraging. Sleek, well-proportioned, muscular - you wouldn't be at all surprising to see this coming out of Wolfsburg or Ingolstadt. Kia dealers may have problems selling the new Magentis to existing customers, but this is one Kia, we could all adore.

Oh, and by the way, the Kia Magentis was voted 'Best Family Car' at the annual AA/Association of Scottish Motoring Writers awards in 2001. That's four facts. Don't tell the Belgians.