Steane Klose | May 23, 2007

Hot on the heels of our last Korean hotty the 2009 Hyundai Tiburon, Kia have been caught with their XR's camo down. Pics doing the rounds of the internet today suggest that Kia are working on a sporty five-door hatch.

Kia have previously mentioned their desire to build an ‘XR’ performance brand and only last week took the covers off their cee’d (what sort of a name is that anyway…) at a press event in South Korea.

This 5-door hatch has been fitted with some rather dodgy gold wheels and a flimsy looking body kit but oddly it is not unattractive no doubt helped along by the lowered stance and low profile rubber.

Kia have confessed to investigating both turbo-charged and super-charged engines. Europe and most probably Australia would be ear-marked for the turbo with the US to receive the super-charged model. The Americans preferring their boost from idle.

The Koreans are certainly moving the game up a notch. Hyundai have recently released details of their V8 Genesis saloon and there are rumours that the 2009 Tiburon will use the genesis RWD platform and may be V8 powered or use a smaller capacity turbo-charged engine. All of which sounds nice…

kiaxrrear.jpg

It’s unlikely that the first XR will be a real WRX or Golf GTi challenger but give them time. The Koreans are learning very quickly and each new generation model lifts the bar. They are also the worlds largest manufacturer of supertankers…and you can’t make mistakes building boats that big.

There is currently no word on when or if Australia will see the XR hatch shown in the pictures. If we do it is unlikely to be called the XR as Ford already have that franchise.

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