Kia and their ambitions to compete in the sports saloon space has been floating around the motoring news sphere ever since their GT Concept debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show of 2011. And now the automaker thinks the time is right.
Kia Motors America Vice President of Product Planning, Orth Hendricks - famous for letting us all know about Kia sadly dropping the Sportspace Concept from its future line-up as an estate version of the Optima - revealed that the GT is very close to making its production-ready debut.
According to a report by Drive.com.au, Hendricks also mused on the GT4 Stinger concept that was seen at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, saying that the company is still considering it but its production prospects remain slim. However, he did admit that Kia is actively working on the GT - which is good enough news. Its unclear if 388 hp 3.3-litre turbocharged V6 that was slotted in the concept will make it into the production version, but our guess is that since it needs that sort of output to be on par with other sports saloons, there's a good chance we won't be disappointed in that regard.
"I think for us the GT is a sedan so it has a lot broader appeal than a two-door coupe. They don't do well here. They do really, really good for 18 months and then they really fall off. You can get just as much emotional experience in a sedan, a more practical car, than a coupe. But it communicates something very, very clear to market with a coupe in your line-up," As stated earlier, the VP later added that we would likely not have to wait long for an official announcement, confident that the GT would have a big impact for the brand, particularly for the North American market.
Hendricks further explained the GT’s appeal and why its production is an important move for the company "…It would communicate a younger, more emotional message to the market. I think buyers of those types of vehicles tend to be more engaged with their cars. We tend to prioritise that with our design, with our approach to marketing the cars, the fact that we race vehicles… Our buyers tend to be more passionate."
While details concerning specification and market availability remain purely speculation, we do hope that Kia will offer it in as many markets as it can manage, including ours, and that as many of the cues seen in the concept are carried over to the production such as the suicide doors and fastback shape. If it’s anything like as stunning as the concept, there’s no doubt that it will do wonders from the brand’s image.