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First look: Kia's sporting chances

Kia coupe: As-yet-unnamed two-door four-seater will be built in Europe.

Kia to step out of Hyundai's shadow with a 2+2 coupe and the three-door Pro-cee'd

27 Jul 2007

IT REMAINS to be seen whether this will be the car that enables Kia to step out from the shadow of its parent Hyundai, not least because the dark teaser image (above) sheds little light on the issue.

Still, the 2+2 coupe concept to be presented at the Frankfurt motor show on September 11 does indicate that Kia has a sporting chance to at least follow its sister brand into a more driver-oriented future using the new rear-drive architecture underpinning the next-generation Hyundai Tiburon.

Former VW/Audi designer and now Kia styling chief Peter Schreyer has said on the public record that he favours RWD, and this Frankfurt concept could be in-the-metal evidence that such a sportscar for Kia is coming soon.

“Kia has given me the opportunity to shape its whole brand design and character,” Mr Schreyer said in a statement last week.

17 center imageMeanwhile, Kia this week also revealed the first 'preview image' of its next small three-door hatchback, the Pro-cee'd (left), following the appearance of the concept of the same name at the Paris motor show this year.

The Pro-cee'd is the third bodystyle derivative of the South Korean company's all-new European designed and built C-segment model, which replaces the Cerato.

Production of the Pro-cee’d model range begins in November following its Frankfurt motor show debut in September, with the newest Cee'd joining its five-door hatch and wagon stablemates on sale in Europe next year.

Because Cee’d was designed specifically for Europe and is being built exclusively at a new plant in Slovakia with an eventual capacity of 300,000 (including the Sportage from the middle of this year), Australia is unlikely to see Kia's new small car until 2010.

According to Kia, the new production model was developed by Kia’s design team in Europe under the direction of chief design officer, Peter Schreyer.

“Longer, lower and lighter than its five-door sister car, the new Kia Pro-cee’d is going to be a great drive,” said Jean-Charles Lievens, senior vice-president Kia Motors Europe.

“Combining real style and genuine practicality, our new three-door Cee’d is sure to delight existing Kia customers and attract a new group of European consumers who have not yet considered our brand.”

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