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Future models - Kia - GT

Athletic GT and Stinger still on the cards for Kia

Sports field: Kia says it’s Stinger (left) and GT concept siblings have progressed since their appearance in concept form.

Kia “actively working on” sporty GT sedan, two-seater Stinger coupe not ruled out

Kia logo6 Apr 2015

By DANIEL GARDNER in NEW YORK

KIA is pushing ahead with the development of future vehicles that will appeal to a “younger, more emotional” audience with continued development of its performance-focused GT and GT4 Stinger.

While the small two-seater Stinger coupe is still in the early stages of development, senior management from the Korean car-maker have confirmed that the larger four-door GT is nearing a significant point in its gestation, with a motor show appearance expected soon.

With a gap of more than three years since the original concept debuted at the Los Angeles motor show in 2011, a near production version of the sports sedan is anticipated.

Speaking at the New York International Auto Show last week, Kia Motors America product planning vice-president Orth Hedrick told told Australian media that both Kia GT and Stinger concepts had progressed since their motor show unveilings.

“They are under development,” he said. “The Stinger, we have some more work to do on as far as bringing that to market. The market for a coupe is not very strong for the length of time needed to get a return on your investment.

“But for GT, we are actively working on that car. We’ll have an announcement about that soon. Probably within the next few auto shows you’ll hear something.” Mr Hedrick’s prediction puts the GT model in line for a reveal at one of the upcoming international motor shows, but the next Los Angeles event would be a fitting venue, where the car would break cover four years after its first appearance at the Frankfurt show.

The Kia America executive went on to say a line-up incorporating high-performance models was a significant investment for the company and would require solid justification, but sporty models would align with the company’s design philosophy.

“It would communicate a younger, more emotional message to the market,” he said. “Buyers of those vehicles tend to be more engaged with their cars and they are interested with a passion. We tend to prioritise that in our designs.

“The fact that we race several vehicles and we participate a lot in sports marketing, our buyers tend to be a lot more competitive and passionate versus, say, a Toyota or Honda buyer.

“If we were to develop it they would be right in line with how we market ourselves. It underscores who we are.” Mr Hedrick concluded by saying that of the two models, a sporty sedan would make more sense in the US market compared with a smaller two-door coupe.

“For us the GT is a sedan so it has a lot more broader appeal than a small two-place coupe,” he said. “They don’t do that well here (in the United States).

“You can get just as much of an emotional experience in a sedan and a more practical car as you can in a coupe, but it communicates something very clear to the market if you have a coupe in your line-up.”

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