2011 Kia GT ConceptEnlarge Photo
Kia will soon have an offering in the sporty ‘four-door coupe’ segment in the form of a production version of its striking GT concept, which was first shown at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show. Production of the concept has been rumored for some time, and shortly it will be made official, with a senior Kia exec confirming that an announcement will be made soon. That makes sense as the car is expected to go on sale by next year.
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The confirmation comes from Kia America's head of product planning, Orth Hedrick, who spoke recently with Drive. Unfortunately, Hedrick also suggested that production of a new sports car based on 2014’s GT4 Stinger concept is looking unlikely, though he didn’t rule it out completely.
“The market for a coupe is not strong for the length of time needed to get a return on your investment,” Hedrick said of the GT4 Stinger. “They don't do well [in the U.S. market]—they do really, really good for 18 months and then they really fall off.” This is something Toyota is experiencing with its GT 86/Scion FR-S twins, which is why the Japanese automaker has been reluctant to invest in new variants such as a convertible or high-performance model.
Kia GT4 Stinger Concept at 2014 Detroit Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
This isn’t the case for cars like a production version of the GT, said Hedrick. As it is a sedan, he explained that it has a lot “broader appeal” than a coupe, and that in this day and age you can get as much “emotional experience” in a sporty sedan as you would with a coupe.
No details about the new sedan were revealed but it’s likely the basis of the car will be the rear-wheel-drive (with available all-wheel drive) platform of the latest Hyundai Genesis. To differentiate it from its Hyundai sibling, the Kia sedan will likely come exclusively with V-6 power, and of course its coupe-like profile. The original GT concept had a turbocharged and direct-injected 3.3-liter V-6 with 390 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque on tap.
Stay tuned for an update.