Today we want to share an interesting rendering made by Sustvin. The KIA Elan was a licensed model originally made by Lotus. After the final production run of the Elan in 1995, Lotus sold its production rights to KIA, which produced its own version despite the Kia Elan looked almost identical to the original. The biggest difference are the Kia-designed taillights that replaced the original.
In the mid-1990s, Kia was searching for a way to break into the sports/roadster market, a long-dormant volcano that Mazda’s Miata had once again set ablaze. Its forward-looking styling and competent chassis were not lost on the business planners at Kia, who happily bought the licensing rights and tooling from Lotus.
Kia Motech (Kia Motor-technology) produced the car in Ansan, South Korea from 1996 to 1999 as the Kia Elan for the Korean market, using a 151 PS (111 kW; 149 hp) 1.8 L T8D engine from Mazda instead of the Isuzu 1.6 turbo-charged unit used by Lotus. In the Japanese market, the car was sold as the KIA Vigato. A total of 1,056 Elan’s were produced.
“I imagined how it would feel if a small sports car launched by Kia revived. Even though I wasn’t born at the time, sometimes when I see Elans on the street, I think of the ”Romantic Era.“ said Sustvin.
“The 80s and 90s of Korea are sometimes called the ‘Romantic Era’. Adults sometimes miss those times. So, I wanted to remind adults of those times by reviving this small car. Of course, the design and size are all different from that time, but I think there is something that reminds adults of memories just by hearing the name like ”Korando.“ I think Elan is one of those things. If everyone is happy to see the Elan I designed during this difficult time, and adults are happy for a moment, I‘m happy with that.” he added.