Kia builds a hot hatch – finally

28 January, 2013 | by Lance Branquinho

Tiger nose. Red calipers. Three-door configuration. Kia’s GT hot hatch works.

Korea. Karoke. Kia.

The alliteration works, as you’d know if you have ever been to Seoul and seen the obsession Koreans have with karaoke. Could also explain why Kia’s become the virtual pop idol automotive brand: impossible to ignore and with more talent than most would wish to admit.

The latest hit offerings from Hyundai’s funkier twin brand? It’s these: GT derivatives of the pro_cee’d and cee_d.

Granted, we don’t get the oddball named ceeds in South Africa anymore, be we are due for the new Rio and its Koup sibling soon.

The point? Well, these new ceeds feature all manner of hot hatch styling accoutrements – LEDs, red callipers, 18-inch alloys, Recaro seats, dual exhaust ends – which in all likelihood could by means of product osmosis become part of the future Koup.

Best of all though, is the 1.6 GDI turbopetrol engine on offer: 149kW and 265Nm driving the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. Those are pretty tidy numbers and although technical details concerning suspension upgrades and the possibility of a trick front differential configuration are at this stage unconfirmed, it’s heartening to see Kia challenge itself.

The new ceeds will be revealed officially at the Geneva auto show in a few weeks time.

What is the importance of all this for South African customers? Well, Hyundai is testing the new 1.6 GDI locally for fuel compliance and that means it will quite possibly find its way into the Kia product line-up by mid-2013, in the Koup. A very nice car that will most certainly be.




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