By now, you've no doubt seen most of the awesome DC Comic-inspired Kia cars for the "Built For Justice" program - and this Optima Hybrid will be no different. This time, using Superman as the source of inspiration, you can expect one of the strongest builds yet. Not quite superhuman but pretty damn close. As you already know, Superman - born Kal El - was sent away from his dying home planet of Krypton to Earth, where he was raised by Jonathan and Martha Kent as Clark Kent. As an adult, he was not just a reporter for the Daily Planet but subsequently became the protector for Metropolis City because of his superhuman powers. With the formation of theJustice League, Superman became their outspoken leader. And what better magazine to be responsible for this "Super" Kia build than Super Street!
Our goal was simple; transform the Optima into a car that Clark Kent himself might drive. We started the build process with the creative mind of Jon Sibal, a seasoned comic artist and the man behind countless automotive renderings including our Kia Soul project. With his magic computer, he took our ordinary Optima Hybrid and gave it strength, power and style. A one-off widebody conversion was called for, along with a very sleek paint scheme, extensive lighting, custom interior and air-ride suspension that would set this Superhero project car apart from the rest.
To help with the build, we called on perfectionist Mike Vu and his team at MV Designz. From a simple drawing from Jon, they would havetheir work cut out for them transforming the Optima. The project got rolling with the body with both fenders and rear quarter panels reshaped to make the carwider. A wider stance would only take the exterior so far, so the team at MV Designz fabricated a new aggressive front lip.
With weeks dedicated to perfecting the body, paint came next and the team chose a deep blue paint to match Superman's tights. A red chrome vinyl was chosen to drape along the trunk and the shoulders of the Optima, acting like Superman's glorious cape. The best part was yet to come... The hood was customized with the signature Superman insignia. The easy way to do it would be painting it on, but the team fabricated a logo out of transparent thermoplastic and molded it into the hood. Light strips were installed to illuminate the symbol with the flip of a switch. How cool is that?!
The car debuted at the Chicago Auto Show this month, but we'll have another update for you soon with more exclusive behind-the-scenes photos.