Kia’s boss, Hank Lee, admitted that the company needed a so-called halo model to improve its brand image and that the coupe was the first of a series of show cars to test the water.
Kia intent to make sportier cars an it will signal its plan by showing a V8-powered rear-wheel-drive coupe concept model at September’s Frankfurt motor show.
It seems that the concept car will be based on Kia’s new US market luxury saloon, due to be launched in 2012. Another concept car using the same bases will be shown at the Detroit motor show in January. It’s probably that a production version of the winning idea will appear in 2015.
For this a new rear-wheel-drive coupe could be just the start, but Kia also needs an MX-5 rival.
Kia’s design boss Peter Schreyer admitted sometime in the past that a Kia sports car wouldn’t need to be fast, but compact, affordable and fun. “What car?” affirms that unlike the Frankfurt concept model, the MX-5 rival need not be rear-drive, but could be a front-driver and based on the next-generation Cee’d hatch, due out next year.
Kia is considering a far greater involvement in motorsport, to help build a sportier image for the brand. Kia bosses are also thought to be in favour of boosting the company’s sporty image with hot hatches based on the Kia Rio supermini and next C’eed. Beside this, in the future, an entire sub-brand – such as Renaultsport or Ford’s Team RS – is possible.