Kia’s GT stable of products has the potential to expand across a greater number of model lines, but the sport-inspired range won’t evolve into full-blooded performance products according to the Head of High Performance Development at Kia, Albert Biermann.
Despite being positioned as a more youthful and ‘surprising’ brand in the Hyundai Motor Group stable, Kia won’t have access to the high performance powertrains that will make their way into Hyundai’s N products.
That means the all-new Cerato (below), which was recently unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and the yet-to-be-unveiled European Cee’d won’t receive the most powerful 202kW and 353Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged engine from the Hyundai i30 N and Veloster N.
Biermann instead has his sights set on further improvements to Kia’s handling from its GT-badged cars.
“I think the performance level is fine where we are right now, with the engine performance I think that’s fine, but you can expect on the handling side a good step-up” Biermann said.
The next major project Biermann has on his schedule is the Cee’d GT, which will likely share most of its mechanical set-up with the eventual Cerato GT that’s slated for Australia.
Although Biermann didn’t share final specifications of that car, it seems unlikely that the new model will step up greatly from the current 150kW/265Nm 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine as used previously by the Pro_Cee’d GT (below) and Cerato Koup Turbo in Australia.
“It’s below the i30N [new Cee’d GT], so it could happen that maybe some [Volkswagen Golf] GTI customers would think this is a nice alternative plan and jump into a Cee’d GT, but maybe just the engine power is a little bit less, but the rest of it is damn close.” He said.
Biermann also put to rest suggestions of a more powerful Stinger variant to head Kia’s flagship model.
“At this time there’s no plan, and I think there’s no need.” He said of plans for either an uprated V6 or V8 powertrain for Stinger. “I think with the Stinger GT we are entering an area where we haven’t been before, and I think we should go step by step.”
While the Kia has no plans from a corporate standpoint to introduce a hotter range of vehicles to sit above the current GT series, Biermann showed a personal interest in adapting Hyundai’s high-performance N offerings for use in Kia’s range.
“At this stage there is no plan, but I’m ready any time to do one more step up. From an engineering point of view that’s not the issue.”
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