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Frankfurt show: Kia mystery hatch concept teased

Planting a Cee’d: Kia has taken the fastback route in the design of this five-door hot hatch which could foreshadow a new member of the Euro-centric Cee’d family.

‘Extended-back’ hot hatch concept hints at a new variant for Kia’s Euro Cee’d range

Kia logo31 Aug 2017

By RON HAMMERTON

KIA has served up a glimpse of a fastback hot hatch concept that it describes as a “bold vision for a potential member” of the next-generation of the Europe-only Cee’d small car family.

To be revealed in full on September 12 at the Frankfurt motor show, just 500 metres from Kia’s European design studios where the concept was penned, the slope-backed hatch is unlikely to replace the standard five-door hatchback version of the third-generation Cee’d range to be rolled out next year.

That design is believed to be locked in stone in readiness for production at Hyundai’s Slovakian plant in 2018.

Kia Motor Australia (KMAu) has ruled out the next Cee’d for Australia, instead again putting its small-car eggs in the Cerato basket.

Like Cee’d, the Korean-built Cerato is also due for a new generation next year, giving KMAu the opportunity to build on the current Cerato’s sales success. So far this year, Cerato sales in Australia have soared 58 per cent, to 11,658 units at the end of July.

The Frankfurt concept is likely to foreshadow something further down the line than the standard 2018 Cee’d, perhaps a potential replacement for the three-door Pro_Cee’d in the next generation or even the one after that.

The slow-selling Pro_Cee’d is believed to be on the chopping block next time around, but Kia clearly wants to continue with a sporty version of the Cee’d alongside the conventional five-door hatchback and wagon variants.

In its press release accompanying the sole photo of the concept issued in Germany, Kia dropped a hint about the potential for the extended hot hatch to replace the Pro_Ceed, saying it “retains the athleticism of the current Pro_Cee’ d model while combining its striking visual presence with a dash of real-world versatility”.

The Pro_Cee’d was sold briefly in Australia between 2014 and 2015, but was dropped after achieving tiny sales – about 700 over two years – partly because it was offered only with three doors and only with a manual gearbox in a market segment where five doors and auto transmission are the norm.

Although the next-generation production Cee’d will continue on a front-wheel-drive platform shared with Hyundai Group vehicles such as the Cerato, Hyundai i30 and Hyundai Veloster, the concept appears to have a long snout mimicking a real-wheel-drive European thoroughbred.

A black roof and oversized wheels add to the Euro-accented design that appears to take some cues from the latest Kia sports models such as the Stinger sports sedan.

A production version would no doubt have scaled-back wheels and lose some of the more fanciful touches such as the recessed door handles.

No powertrain details have yet been divulged.

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