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Blown circa $30k Kia Koup locked in for Oz

Slick: The new Kia Koup is a stylistic evolution of the current one, but will have the go to match its show this time around.

Kia Australia locks in 150kW turbo Koup, completes second piece of its hi-po puzzle


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16 Aug 2013

KIA will offer a pair of turbocharged two-door performance leaders by early 2014, after today confirming for the first time it will offer a blown version of the next-generation Koup alongside the European-made Pro_Ce’ed GT.

The force-fed double-header will allow Kia to attack the fast-growing entry-level performance car market from two different angles, with the front-drive Koup to be pitched at budget coupes such as the Toyota 86, and the Pro_Ce’ed aimed at warmed-up hatches such as the Focus ST.

As reported, both cars use the same 150kW/265Nm 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine as the Hyundai Veloster SR, with power sent to the front wheels through a six-speed manual or automatic transmission with paddle-shifters.

And while we already knew about the Pro_Ce’ed GT’s planned launch here in the first quarter of 2014, confirmation of the blown Koup is a new development. With an arrival date of mid-October, the latter will actually make it here first, and therefore earn the mantle as Kia’s first proper performance car Down Under.

“(The Kia Koup turbo) is the final chapter of the Cerato launch story but it’s also the first chapter in the new generation of Kia excitement. I can confirm today that the new Koup, to be launched in a couple of months time, will pioneer turbo power for Kia in Australia.” said Kia Australia chief operating officer Tony Barlow.

“The Koup turbo will be just the first example of Kia’s future plans to keep our customers satisfied and delighted.” Kia will also sell the Koup here in price-leading normally aspirated guise, with power coming from the same 129kW/209Nm 2.0-litre unit as the regular hatch and sedan versions.

The soon-to-be-superseded Cerato Koup is presently available in two naturally aspirated 2.0-litre petrol variants: the $23,990 Si and closing with the $27,225 SLS.

Expect an equally sharp starting price for the non-turbo new Koup, and for the turbo to pitch in somewhere around $30,000, right in the thick of it amongst the $31,990 Veloster SR and the $29,990 Toyota 86. Expect the Kia to have a longer list of standard features than the lightweight Toyota, though.

The Californian-designed Koup retains the current model’s proportions while complementing the aggressive face and narrow grille of the hatch with a bigger lower air intake and raked windscreen angle.

Compared with the outgoing Koup, the new car's wheelbase has been extended 50mm, providing shorter overhangs, while the roof height has been slightly lowered.

Turbocharged variants declare their performance intent with more aggressive styling comprising a bigger front bumper with enlarged air intakes, gloss black grille inserts, carbon-fibre look trim for the front splitter and rear valance and twin chrome exhaust tips.

Behind the 18-inch alloy wheels are larger front brakes, while inside are alloy sports pedals and carbon-fibre style accents on the front and rear seats.

As with all Australian Kias, the Koup will benefit from local tuning of the suspension, including firmer dampers and likely a tweaked anti-roll bar. There’ s also scope for a faster electric steering rack.

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