Friday, January 18, 2013

DC comics inspired Kia’s on display at North American International Auto Show

The Green Lantern inspired Kia Soul is on display
 at the North American International Auto Show. 
The car will eventually be auctioned off for the “We Can Be Heroes” campaign. 
Photos by Dave Chapman
DC Comics and Kia Motors teamed up to help stamp out hunger via the “We Can Be Heroes” campaign, which is working to end hunger in Africa.

The companies paired up to create eight, one-of-a-kind vehicles to help get the charity’s message out. The vehicles, each a different model from Kia, sport characters from “The Justice League” comic books. Two of those cars are on display this week at the North America International Auto Show in Detroit.

The cars will eventually be auctioned off, with the money going to support the charity.

Each vehicle contains the custom artwork of legendary comic artist Jim Lee, who also is the co-publisher of DC Comics.

“It was a thrill to see custom cars based upon my Justice League artwork and sketches,” Lee said in a statement. “I have to tip my hat to the teams at West Coast Customs, ‘Rides’ and ‘Super Street’ on their innovative work creating cars that represent iconic characters like Green Lantern, Cyborg, Aquaman and The Flash — all to benefit a great cause.”

The cars that are on display in Detroit include a Green Lantern inspired Soul and a Batman inspired Optima.

A custom made Batman themed Kia Optima is among the cars
 on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The car, along with seven others will be auctioned off
 for charity before the end of the year. 
The Soul sports a dapper green and black two-tone exterior paint scheme complete with green mirror-chrome tint on the windows. Super Street’s build team lowered the Soul to improve its stance and applied widened wheel wells with one-off 18 x 10.5-inch deep-dish wheels. Traditionally a four-door vehicle, the Soul’s back doors have been welded shut to streamline its appearance. Blacked out headlights feature projector beams that glow green. Customized Green Lantern-logo fog lights in the widened front fascia and green LED lighting further enhance the overall appearance.

A custom rear cargo compartment houses the Green Lantern power battery, with his signature lantern logo etched into a clear panel displaying the superhero’s oath lit by LEDs. The rear deck also holds a video monitor to display the “We Can Be Heroes” promotional video. Up front, the Soul’s steering wheel and front seats were reupholstered with green and black leather and include the Green Lantern logo stitched into the seat backs. Other interior touches include various dash pieces painted in the green and black scheme.

The Optima sports a matte- and piano-black paint scheme, a dramatically lowered coilover suspension and muscular ground effects kit, huge Ksport performance brakes for extreme stopping power, custom-designed 20-inch black wheels with one-of-a-kind Batman-logo center caps and a performance exhaust system. Other exterior modifications include a custom front grille shaped like a batwing that took more than 40 hours to create, yellow LED lighting accents throughout the vehicle and the iconic bat signal etched into the SXL’s HID headlights.
Moving beneath the cape, the Optima’s seating surfaces are covered in custom black leather and suede with bold yellow accent stitching. Gotham City’s streets — the place that Batman calls home — are full of villains, and this Optima is ready for action at a moment’s notice with crime-fighting elements like utility throwing stars installed in the center console.

The other cars in the fleet include a Cyborg inspired Forte, an Aquaman inspired Rio, and a Flash inspired Forte Coupe.

There are three cars in the fleet yet to be unveiled. They are set to feature Superman, Wonder Woman and a special vehicle with all seven members of the team.

“We are proud to be raising awareness for the ‘We Can Be Heroes’ campaign and look forward to unveiling three more crime-fighting Kias at future auto shows,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing for Kia.

We Can Be Heroes supports the efforts of three humanitarian aid organizations working in Africa — Save the Children, International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corps — as part of the global effort to fight the current hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa. The region is suffering its worst drought and famine in more than 60 years, with 13 million in need of critical assistance.

For more information on “We Can Be Heroes,” visit

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