2014 concept had RWD, 315-hp turbo-four.
Kia has been known to dip its toes into the sports-car fray at auto shows, but a new report suggests that the Korean brand is actually making headway toward a production model. By 2020, Kia will launch a new sports car closely linked to its GT4 Stinger concept.
Autocar reports that Kia U.K. chief Paul Philpott is aiming for an affordable compact sport coupe which could compete with the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ twins. The only current Kia model that offers rear-wheel drive is the full-size K900 luxury sedan, so the upcoming Kia sports car would ride on its own independent platform.
In order to meet necessary production volume, Kia’s sports car would need to be sold globally.
A proper sports car has been on Kia’s radar since the 2011 Frankfurt show, when we got our first look at the Kia GT concept, but things really heated up with the Kia GT4 Stinger concept from the 2014 Detroit show. The sleek 2011 GT concept was a rear-wheel-drive four-door coupe with a 390-hp, direct-injected 3.3-liter V-6. Lessons were reportedly learned from this early project, but the real source of inspiration will indeed be the GT4 Stinger coupe, a sporty 2+2 with a 315-hp, 2.0-liter turbo-four engine and a six-speed manual transmission.
While Kia executives in South Korea have been less enthusiastic in the past about the prospect of a sports car, certain high-ranking figures like design chief Peter Schreyer have vocally promoted the concept. Sales and marketing executive VP for Kia, Michael Sprague, has said that there space in the market for Kia to enter the sports-car segment for the first time.
Also in the pipeline is a subcompact crossover (which we recently spied), likely based on the Provo concept from the 2013 Geneva show. We can expect that model, broaching one of the industry’s hottest segments, to arrive “within two years.”