Mike Stevens | Nov 22, 2012

Kia is closer than ever to putting its big GT concept into production as it pushes for a more sporting image, according to reports out of Europe this week.

An Autocar interview with Kia CEO Hyoung-Keun Lee suggests a production version of the GT, revealed in Frankfurt last year, is under serious consideration.

“We haven’t decided yet, but we need a certain product to help with our brand image," Lee told the paper, adding that a rear-wheel-drive platform would be ideal.

Kia design boss Peter Schreyer has spoken of his desire for a geuine performance model, whether it be a big four-door coupe or a smaller and more nimble sports car.

“Every company needs a halo car. The coupe market is dominated by German brands, and the GT is Kia’s first step – it’s like putting a foot in the door of the club”, Schreyer said at the unveiling of the GT.

Lee told Autocar there is potential in both ideas, but that a decision is still to be made.

His comments follow reports late in 2011 that point to plans for a four-door coupe that would enter as a more affordable alternative to Audi's A5 and A7 Sportback models, sitting alongside Kia's new rear-wheel-drive Quoris sedan.

The Quoris can already provide the necessary platform and mechanicals, leaving only budget, capacity and market demand as the main barriers to a production GT. These are not insignificant hurdles.

In concept form, the GT is powered by a turbocharged 3.3 litre V6 engine, delivering 290kW and 534Nm of torque. Power is transferred to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

For now, Lee says, Kia's performance focus is on a souped-up version of the Pro_cee'd three-door, expected to feature the 150kW 1.6 turbo engine found in Hyundai's Veloster Turbo.

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