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Future models - Kia - GT

GT four-coupe a reality for Kia

Seoul power: Australia can expect to see the GT in Kia dealerships as early as the end of next year.

Named CK for now, Kia's GT concept will be here, says Kia Australia

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Kia logo25 May 2016

By STUART MARTIN

A PRODUCTION version of Kia's tantalising rear drive GT concept car will be in Australia as soon as the end of next year, following confirmation that the south Korean car-maker will build the new performance flagship.

Codenamed 'CK', the production version of the GT Concept that was first seen in Frankfurt in 2011 is scheduled for production before the end of next year, and Kia Australia chief operating officer Damien Meredith described the car as a game-changer for the brand in Australia.

“It shows the capability of what we can do in terms of R&D, manufacturing and design,” he said. “We'll certainly have that in our line-up when it becomes available. I was lucky enough to see it two weeks ago and it looks pretty good ... it's relatively close to the concept, it's a good looking thing”.

Mr Meredith believes the brand is much better placed to introduce a sports sedan of this type within the next two years – with a twin-turbo V6 powerplant rumoured for the $40-$50,000 four-door coupe in the ilk of the Mercedes-Benz CLS but closer to the Volkswagen Passat CC in size.

“When you look at what's occurred with SUVs, there's not a problem for people to spend $50,000 plus for a Kia SUV, but with the passenger vehicles you've got to earn your credentials,” said Mr Meredith.

“We've got great looking cars, we have road presence and if you do it in an orderly manner, the feed up to - let's call it CK - is going to be a little bit easier than if you just plonk it into the marketplace.” “We've got to earn our stripes by growing volume and market share, making sure the dealers are growing with us and that will make the pathway of CK a little bit easier I believe.” The rear-drive sedan is likely to be the only sports-oriented vehicle to satisfy Kia fans looking for a high-performance vehicle since the demise of the pro'ceed GT hatch, which was hobbled by the lack of automatic transmission, and axed due to low demand.

For now, Kia's Cerato Koup Turbo is looking after the more performance-focused audience with 150kW and coupe looks, but the CK is expected to up those stakes with a significant power premium and more stand-out aesthetics.

Mr Meredith said he believes the the brand is now ready to put a sports coupe in the market.

“It's been a long time coming, since the concept, but in saying that the brand wouldn't have ready for that type of vehicle in any market five years ago,” he said.

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