Kia to follow up Cee’d three-door version with hot hatch variant

Article by Anita Panait, on March 16, 2012

Kia is expected to launch a hot hatch version of its new Cee’d 12-18 months after unveiling the three-door version. The three-door version was recently previewed for the first time in a leaked official design sketch. The Kia Cee’d will be powered by the same 1.6-litre turbocharged engine that runs the Hyundai Veloster Turbo, which was unveiled at the recent Geneva Motor Show.

The Hyundai Veloster Turbo provides 183bhp of output and 199lb ft of torque, but Kia plans to give Cee’d better figures. An insider told Autocar that the engine for Kia Cee’d can deliver remarkable figures across a very wide band if it is tuned accordingly. The insider revealed that people at Kia are currently discussing whether to give the Cee’d around 200bhp with benefits of improved power delivery, or to provide the three-door with a boosted 220bhp figure.

The insider also disclosed that Kia people are still deciding whether to make the Cee’d an impressive-looking top-end vehicle or a dynamic car that offers a unique driving experience. Meanwhile, Kia Cee’d’s sister car, the Hyundai i30, will soon get a hot hatch version. Hyundai’s European boss Allan Rushforth said during the unveiling of the i30 in February that they are considering hot hatch versions that offer dynamic improvement in both riding and handling.

Slated to be exclusively manufactured at the Zilina facility of Kia located in Slovakia, the new Kia cee'd is expected to be offered with 10 colors for the exterior. Five of these colors are in fact new offerings. In addition, the models that will come out of this same facility will be among those that will have the latest Kia badge to be placed on its bonnet. The badge in particular not only has a more contemporary look but is sleeker and simpler.

This new design reveals a more premium feel and even has the Kia script placed in a raised section, which allows it to be read easily. That the new Kia cee'd is sleeker is due to the fact that its shape is a result of the extensive tests conducted at the brand’s highly advanced wind tunnels at the research and development center in Namyang, Korea.

Changes include having a smooth cover for both the central floor and engine and the windscreen angle being lowered. These changes, plus the delicately profiled rear lamp clusters and rear spoiler placed on top of the tailgate, give this latest offering from Kia a Cd at 0.30. Clearly this is one of the best for its class. In addition, this feature means that fuel consumption is lowered while cabin noise is reduced.

Compared to the previous model, the new cee'd has an overall length of 4,310 mm, an increase of 50 mm, with height at 1,470 mm, lower by 10 mm. This results in its having a more athletic profile. Despite the fact that this new five-door hatchback utilizes an entirely new platform, it does have the same wheelbase on the previous model.

Measuring 2,650 mm, this makes the new cee'd have a wheelbase that is considered as one of the longest there is under the C-segment. Helping the cee'd have a look that is clearly sportier is the wider track.

Even if the overall bodyshell is narrower by 10 mm, the front track has been increased by 17 mm with the rear track made longer by 32 mm. The option to have either the alloy 17-inch wheels, or the 18-inch versions, enhances the visuals while making sure that the gap between the bodywork and tires is minimized.

Topics: kia, kia ceed, sports car

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