Kia’s preparations to enter into the rear wheel drive sports sedan market are heating up with the 3 Series challenger spied in undisguised pre-production guise rolling off its Korean production line.
To be called the K8 in its home market, the all-new medium sedan will more likely be sold under the GT or Stinger nameplates in western markets, sharing its platform and engines with the upcoming Genesis G70 sedan.
The single image, published on the Kia World forum, shows a roofline that takes its inspiration from the Kia Optima with a floating roof formed through the continual flow of the upper door surface, and a stout C-pillar giving the GT a coupe-like stance.
Though styling deviates slightly from the Kia GT concept of 2011, the long bonnet and short front overhang carry over and emphasise the new sedan’s rear wheel drive dynamics. Performance should be up to par thanks to a choice of either 2.0-litre four-cylinder or 3.3-litre V6 turbocharged engines.
The new model is expected to slot into the range above the existing Optima, but Kia’s value-oriented pricing should see the sports sedan undercut prestige rivals from BMW and Audi, making the GT sedan somewhat unique as one of the few mainstream rear wheel drive sedans available.
Though exact timing is still to be confirmed, it is expected to be officially revealed at the Detroit motor show in January with production expected to follow soon after. As yet no confirmation of right hand drive production has been announced, though senior Kia Australia staff have made no secret of their desire to offer the car locally.
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