2017 Kia Cadenza Art Car: Where Technology Meets Graphic Design


Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Automotive Rhythms (AR) long-term 2017 Kia Cadenza Limited rolled into headquarters in mid November to spend a full year with the East Coast team. The goal was to establish two objectives with the large, Korean touring sedan. The first is to evaluate its traits and DNA over the four seasons and the other was a conversion into an art car during the ART-of-Motion exhibit at the 2017 Washington Auto Show. So far so good!

The vehicle arrived as a Limited model (Cadenza also comes in Premium and Technology formats) in a Snow White Pearl hue with contrasting white, diamond-stitched, Nappa leather seats, black piano trim, and a black multifunction steering wheel. With a MSRP of $44,390 the Cadenza Limited is fully optimized and needs no further upgrading. It’s Kia’s message of offering the correct packaging for upscale consumers without having to spend more loot on amenities and upgrades.


A single engine option powers the sedan in the form of a transverse Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) 3.3-liter V6 with 290-horsepower and 253 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,200 rpm. Kia added two more gears from the prior Cadenza for fuel savings and smoother shifts. The 8-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic and paddle shifters is a joy but the vehicle could use more lower end torque for acceleration. With Drive Mode Select you can switch to Comfort, Eco, Sport, or Smart mode depending on your drive intentions for the day. I typically spend $36 for 16 gallons of fuel (18.5-gallon tank) with the sedan getting 28 highway MPGs and 23 city MPGs.

Kia also makes sure owners are safely satiated with a boatload of standard smart safety technologies including:

  • Rear View Camera with Dynamic Guideline
  • Blind Spot Detection (BSD)
  • Rear Parking Assist System (RPAS)
  • High Beam Assist (HBA)
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)
  • Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC)
  • Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS)
  • Forward Collision Warning System (FCWS)
  • Surround View Monitor (SVM)
  • Head Up Display (HUD)
2017 Kia Cadenza Art Car with 19×8” Petrol P3A custom rims in matte black and of 245/45 R19 all-season Yokohama Advan Sport tires

As you can see I feel safe and sound every time I select the AR Cadenza for daily drive activities. This is in addition to full-length side curtain airbags, driver’s knee airbag, and dual front and rear seat-mounted side airbags. Of course it’s mucho frio in Silver Spring, MD so I was elated to have the steering wheel heater, seat warmers, and dual-zone-automatic climate control that doesn’t take long to reach Florida temperatures. Your mirrors are also heated and fold in and out automatically when the vehicle is locked and unlocked. The trunk lid is powered, windshield wipers automatically sense rain, and the panoramic sunroof reflects the mood of the forecast until you close the power shade. Yep, the aforementioned features are all standard on the 2017 Kia Cadenza Premium.

To witness the artist expressions of the AR Cadenza we welcomed it to Automotive Rhythms’ 2nd Annual ART-of-Motion “featured display” during the 2017 Washington Auto show. The cutting-edge, graphic presentation highlighted more than 13,000 square feet of engaging and creative eye candy. The emphasis was centered on AR’s talented cadre of painters who showcased their visual skills live for attendees.

19×8” Petrol P3A custom rims in matte black

For prep Street Dreamz wrapped the Kia in white 3M vinyl to serve as the canvas for our artist to paint on. We replaced the vehicle’s original Dark Satin 19″ alloy rims with a set of 19×8” Petrol P3A custom rims in matte black and Yokohama tires to simultaneously contrast with the vehicle’s white exterior for winter riding and to color code the imagery with the artist’s vision. The glass ceiling is also blacked out. The Petrol P3A offers sport styling and features two vitalizing faces that overlap to create an eclectic multispoke design while progressively dynamic surfaces bond dual 5-spoke patterns found only on exorbitant forged alloys. We paired the P3As with a set of 245/45 R19 all-season Yokohama Advan Sport tires which have amazing winter grip from the asymmetrical tread pattern and good traction in icy rain due to wavy sipes (thin slits) and both serpentine and straight grooves to push water out of the tread. Dimensionally, the Advans have an overall diameter of 27.7 inches and an overall width of 9.5 inches and fit on rims with a width of 7.5 to 9 inches. Moreover, enlarged performance shoulder blocks increase cornering and handling capabilities.

Back at the auto show Suite Nation recruited up-and-coming, Washington, DC based artist SUPERWAXX to execute her talents on the AR Cadenza with a bold design influenced by animation, comic books, pop culture as well as a mix of street-savvy art. Entitled SUPERK!A, the project is a visual narrative that celebrates Kia’s influence on the automotive industry and is inspired by their roots and motorsports program. The end result reflects the artist’s bold and animated signature style by referencing the imagery of traditional Korean script, vintage race car patterns, and retro cartoon aesthetics that fuse Korean ethos with the Kia legacy. Driving the final product around town was pretty cool, especially dropping the kids off at school. I’m sure they felt like baby ballers!

The next AR Kia Cadenza Limited update will detail the attributes of Kia’s UVO infotainment and connectivity capabilities including Apple CarPlay, UVO eServices, the 8″ touchscreen navigation system, Bluetooth with audio streaming and voice recognition, and the 12-speaker Harmon Kardon surround sound with Quantum Logic and Clari-Fi technology. Stay tuned.

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