Reports from the UK motoring media this week suggest that Kia is gearing up to launch its first-ever RWD performance car in 2017, with the flagship model expected to draw heavily from the four-door GT Concept of 2011.
According to Auto Express, the new model won't deviate much from the GT Concept's four-door coupe template, though its RX-8 style suicide rear doors aren't likely to make it down the production line.
And while the concept was displayed as a V8-powered grand tourer, its production-ready offspring is expected to also have inline four and V6 petrol (and maybe even diesel) powertrain options to lower the price of entry.
But while Auto Express contends the GT will be built around the Hyundai Genesis platform, which is used by the Kia K9 large sedan, Kia UK CEO Paul Philpott says the brand's sports car will use a bespoke chassis and won't be based on an existing Kia model.
Speaking to the media last month, Kia Australia spokesperson Kevin Hepworth confirmed that development of the GT was ongoing.
"I've seen [an evolved] GT in Korea," he said.
"Like all concept cars that look sensational, they lose a bit of practicality when you've got to build a car that meets all the crash regulations around the world."
"It's not yet signed off," he added.
Kia won't be halting its performance car ambitions with the GT either. Auto Express reports a productionised version of the GT4 Stinger Concept (above) is also slated to appear in 2017,
"The next time we show that car somewhere, you'll probably get a much better idea of which direction we're going," Hepworth said.
"I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s shown in its next iteration at a motor show very soon," he continued, potentially hinting at an appearance at next month's Frankfurt Motor Show.
When it was first shown at the Detroit Auto Show in early 2014, the Kia GT Stinger Concept featured a 234kW 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol engine, sending power to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission.
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