Eight of Peter Schreyer's greatest hits
After celebrating his tenth anniversary at Kia, we've rounded up a few of his best designs
When the original Audi TT rocked up in showrooms in 1998, it was like very little else on the road. It went into production virtually unchanged from the 1995 concept. Schreyer had been at Audi since the early 1980s, but the TT was the first car that really put him on the map.
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We’re big fans of both generations of Cee’d, which provide great quality and brilliant reliability for not all that much money. The punctuation-happy hatch was one of Schreyer’s first contributions to Kia – it was the first car to receive Kia’s now-trademark nose. Since then, the Cee’d has had a few spin off concepts, most notably the Ex_Cee’d convertible and the Pro_Cee’d GT, Kia’s first attempt at a hot hatch.
VW Concept R
Unveiled at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show, the VW Concept R was fully intended for production. It would’ve had the 3.2-litre V6 from the Audi TT, and the seats were reportedly filled with memory foam. However, it never came, not even after a 2009 BlueSport concept along the same lines. Perhaps it aped the TT too much, but the face previewed the design language for cars like the Eos.Advertisement - Page continues below
The first two generations of Kia Optima (or Magentis) were, to put it nicely, not quite up to European standards. Not to mention as bland as wallpaper paste. With Schreyer at the helm, the saloon was transformed into a desirable object; it was better looking than many of the other saloons on sale and driving characteristics were vastly improved.
Kia GT Concept
Gotcha! An Aston Martin Rapide this ain’t. Instead, it’s 2011’s GT Concept, and it looks magnificent. The press bumpf talks about the GT being influenced by “a lazy day by the sea, the smell of black coffee and the feel of a luxurious leather briefcase.” Either way, the GT has been spotted in testing, ahead of a potential 2018 release. We’ll have to wait until then to see how they’ve managed to fit Scarborough beach into a swoopy saloon.
VW New Beetle
Now, the VW Beetle isn’t really a Top Gear sort of car (except this one), but the New Beetle was important for Volkswagen and Schreyer. The new (-est) Beetle replaced the New Beetle in 2011, causing all sorts of context problems.
In a world of endless crossovers, the new Hyundai Tucson does well because it looks more interesting than many of its rivals. Like the Optima, Schreyer ensured that the new Tucson wouldn’t be as bland to look at as its predecessors. The usual mainstream range of engines and trim levels are available, and a plug-in hybrid will no doubt be following suit shortly.Advertisement - Page continues below
Kia GT4 Stinger
Come on Kia, why hasn’t this been made yet? It’s got a great name and beautiful lines, and would be a great rival to the budget sports cars on the market. When the car was revealed at the 2014 Detroit Motor Show, reports suggested it’d be on sale by 2016. We're still waiting, Kia...