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Kia’s 360bhp RWD super-saloon
Remember it? Originally unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show, the GT concept previewed a rather tasty sports saloon from Top Gear’s former favourite purveyor of Korean reasonableness.
And now the GT is set to become real. And rear-drive. And fast.
Kia’s vice-president of overseas marketing, Soon-Nam Lee, confirmed to TopGear.com that the Concept GT will likely arrive at the end of 2016, or early 2017 at the latest. So there’s still a while to wait.
“We have many new cars fighting for our attention,” Lee told us, “but this is one of them.” Kia confirmed the production GT should remain faithful to the concept, with a 3.3-litre twin turbocharged V6 engine powering the rear wheels.
It’s still early on in its development cycle, and initially plans were for a 400bhp power output. But you’ll probably see around 360bhp from that blown V6 in production trim. There’s no word yet on potential performance nor kerb weight, and while Kia remains coy on benchmarking other performance saloons, it says it is “aiming for an Audi like feel”.
Kia hopes the GT can improve the brand’s emotional appeal; make it more passionate and performance led. It also hopes its flagship can counter the increasing amount of German performance saloons in the Korean domestic market. While Western Europe will get less than 10,000 units, it’s the USA and Korea that’ll be the main markets for this GT.
As an aside, Kia insiders also admitted to TG that the pro_cee’d GT was a learning curve for the brand. They’re still getting feedback, and when TG asked Kia for a harder, hairier version of the pro_cee’d GT - something like the Golf R - it wasn’t ruled out…
As for a production GT, it’s fair to say we’re excited. Question is, are buyers ready for the sight of a Kia badge on the rump of a 360bhp twin-turbo rear-wheel-drive saloon?