Kia wants to give its brand image a boost with new performance models

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 22, 2012

Kia wants to give its brand image a boost within the next few years and to accomplish that, it will launch a large, flagship rear-drive coupé as well as several sports and performance cars. Kia has confirmed that production will start in mid-2013 for the high-performance second-generation Kia Procee’d. This model debuted at the recently held Paris Motor Show.

Another model that Kia is considering for production is a model based on the rear-drive GT coupé concept that chief designer Peter Schreyer presented at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. According to Vice-chairman and CEO Hyoung-Keun (Hank) Lee, the company is “serious looking” at eventually producing the GT. Lee reiterated his belief that a sports car has to be rear-wheel drive.

He explained that when he was at Hyundai, a Coupe was built with front-wheel drive but while it had a sporty look, it had a different driveability. Lee said that a decision will be made about this project shortly. They examined a few concept cars to see which would aid its brand image and they concluded that the GT had potential. However, they may build a couple more and test how consumers and the media respond before deciding.

Schreyer wants Kia’s range to have a small, nimble sports car that has the same spirit and looks as the Mazda MX-5. But before all that, Kia is prioritizing the launch of the Procee’d, which is internally referred to as HPV. It’s likely to be given the GT badge though.

Powering this model is a 200bhp version of Hyundai-Kia’s T-GDi turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine. It will be available with a choice of six-speed manual or dual-clutch automatic transmissions. Lee said that Schreyer has designed the hot hatch with a different look so that it stands out from the other models in the three-door Procee’d lineup.

Topics: kia

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