Thursday, 22 November 2012

Kia goes for a sporty image boost

Kia is looking to add sports and performance cars to its range to help raise its brand image, and is even considering a rear-wheel-drive coupé based on the 2011 GT concept.

First in line is a high-performance version of next year's second-generation pro_cee'd, which made its debut at the Paris show.

It will be powered by a 200bhp 1.6-litre direct-injection turbo engine and offered with six-speed manual and double-clutch transmissions. It goes into production in the middle of next year.

But Kia's vice-chairman and CEO Hyoung-Keun (Hank) Lee says the company is "seriously looking" at the idea of building a car based on the GT coupé concept from last year's Frankfurt show. If it goes ahead it will almost certainly be RWD.

"In my opinion a sports car should be RWD," Lee says. "When I was at Hyundai we tried the Coupé with front-wheel drive. It was considered sporty looking, but the driveability was different.

"We haven't decided yet, but we need a certain product to help with our brand image. We have tried a couple of concept cars and found some potential in the GT. We will try a couple more in the future, starting at Geneva next year, and test the media and consumer response before choosing one."

Kia has had a sports car in its range in the past, in 1997, when it bought the design rights to the Lotus Elan and began a small production run with one of its own engines in place of the original Isuzu unit. But a year later Kia went bust as Asia's Tiger economies collapsed, leading to the takeover by Hyundai.

1 comment:

  1. awesome cars. i love them all. i love these old classic models. and always trying to bind them in Radiostyrda Bilar.
    Insurance Car Seattle


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