As Kia aims to be known as a “dynamic, sporting, fun brand,” it has confirmed that it has set its sights on a roadster, in order to take on the popular Mazda MX-5 Roadster. According to European CEO Paul Philpott who spoke With AutoExpress, this two-seater is the preferred choice as a desirable sports model.
He said that Kia will focus on establishing the brand in 2011 and 2012 but the carmaker is preparing halo models that would “stretch the company forward” in 2013 and 2014. In a separate interview, chief designer Peter Schreyer said that the brand deserves a sporty car, “like a roadster.”
The ‘tiger nose’ grille is currently being applied to the expanding range. These pictures also show that the new car will get a deeper grille.
Philpott explained that Kia was positioning itself as a younger brand than sister firm Hyundai. He said that the company is working on a program right now on the best way to differentiate Hyundai and Kia.
While Kia is fun, dynamic and more youthful, he said that Hyundai is more upmarket and will be focused more on style and comfort. He said that Hyundai is more like VW while Kia is closer to SEAT.
Philpott added that Kia may also develop a junior 4x4 to sit below the popular Sportage, with the next Soul (which will arrive in two years’ time) likely to be adapted. Philpott said that they’re studying the prospects of a smaller SUV that is four-wheel drive for the market.