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Yes, Kia is building a 400bhp four-door super-saloon
Rear-drive GT is heading to production, confirms Kia's European design boss
It’s been four years since Kia revealed the GT Concept, a 400-odd bhp, V6, RWD super saloon with suicide doors. And it’s been two years since Kia’s VP of overseas marketing, Soon-Nam Lee, confirmed to TG.com that the Concept GT would make series production by the end of 2016, or early 2017 at the latest.
And Good News, people of the Internet - it’s still happening. TG caught up with Kia’s head of European design, Gregory Guillaume, at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, who confirmed the GT is in development.
“It’s a completely new vehicle for us,” said Guillaume, “not based on any existing platform, so you do need a certain amount of time, after the decision was taken, to go ahead with the car. You need to do it right, it’s going to be our first step in that direction so we don’t want to make any mistakes.”
Guillaume admits Kia isn’t likely to sell masses of GTs in Europe. However, he expects it to sell well in America, where “customers are much more open-minded. We do expect to do big numbers in the US. It will be a very important car for us.”
He also promises the production car will be “as true as possible to the concept”, and that size-wise, the GT will not have a direct competitor. “You could expect that a car like the GT would fit in between an A5 or A7, a 4 Gran Coupe and a 6 Gran Coupe,” he says.
It’ll be some time before we see the GT in production trim, so for now performance Kia fans (if they indeed exist) will have to content themselves with the new Optima GT (a quick-ish Optima with 245bhp or thereabouts). And there will be other GT models, says Guillaume…
But what of the other Kia concept everyone loved, the GT4 Stinger? “Kia is a brand that likes to surprise. And you have to say if you look at the GT Concept and the Stinger, the GT is actually a bigger surprise,” says Guillaume.
“They had been saying for years that Kia would be the perfect brand to do a Miata [Mazda MX-5], or something like that. An affordable, really fun little car. If you’re going to do one first, I’d rather pick the bigger surprise. But let’s see…”