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New York show: Kia gets Koup krazy

Two-door: A 2.0-litre petrol four drives the front wheels of Kia's first coupe.

Kia Koup emerges from the shadow of parent company Hyundai's Genesis Coupe at NY

25 Mar 2008

PRESENTED as a concept car at the New York show last week, the Kia Koup is in fact a thinly disguised near-production car that is likely to be on the road by the end of 2009.

The two-door coupe body designed by Kia’s California studio has a four-seat interior that, if you take away some of the styling excesses, is also close to what the production car will look like.

Kia's first coupe is also expected to form the basis of parent company Hyundai's next-generation Tiburon, which contrary to previous reports will not be replaced by the Genesis Coupe - also shown at the New York show last week.

The Kia Koup is about more than just style, thanks to a potent aluminium 2.0-litre ‘Theta II’ four-cylinder petrol engine with direct-injection and a twin-scroll turbocharger. It pumps out 216kW of power and a diesel-like 392Nm of torque from just 2000rpm all the way up to 4000rpm.

17 center imageDrive goes to the front wheels through a standard six-speed automatic transmission with steering column-mounted paddles for sequential manual shifting.

The concept car rides on 19-inch alloy wheels that will be tamed down for the production version and has electronic stability control, six airbags, a tyre pressure-monitoring system and adaptive headlights.

Kia Australia is trying to position the brand as adventurous and young at heart to stand it apart from Hyundai and spokesman Jonathan Fletcher said the Koup is the sort of sporty vehicle Kia needs in this country.

“If we can make the price work, it would be a great hero car for us and make a strong statement about the brand,” he said.

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