Kia has come a long way since its arrival in North America almost 25 years ago. The company that used to be synonymous with inexpensive cars and a limited lineup is now primarily associated with its world-renowned warranty program and, strangely, computer-generated hamsters.
In short, Kia has, very successfully, spent the better part of the last quarter-century building its brand as a sporty company that values customer service and the joy of driving. So where, then, is Kia’s true sports car? Sure, the Optima turns heads more quickly than most cars being made these days, and the K-900 and Cadenza are both serious options within the luxury segment, but where’s Kia’s answer to BMW’s 3 series?
All signs indicate that 2016 will be the year Kia finally scratches that particular itch, and since Kia has a pretty exceptional track record of faithfully transitioning its concept cars into production vehicles, it looks like we have quite a lot to look forward to.
Kia has been teetering on the edge of bringing one of its sports-car concepts to market for years, and reports suggest that Kia plans on bringing a road-ready version of its Kia GT to the Paris Motor Show this October, with the intention of selling the GT in 2017.
While it’s still too early to know exactly what the GT will look like, we can look to two of Kia’s recent concept cars to get a better idea.
The Kia GT (2011) – Kia’s website says this GT concept “is drawn from the idea of a grand touring car that can serve as both a luxury sport sedan and high performance vehicle suitable for long range road trips.” While the production GT may keep the name of this 2011 proof of concept, we expect it to draw heavily from some other, sportier concept cars, cars like…
The Kia GT4 Stinger (2014) – This is the Kia we’ve been waiting for. Designed with an eye toward “weight reduction, functionality and pure driving enjoyment,” this RWD beauty will likely influence whatever sports car Kia brings to market, and for that we are eternally grateful.
On their own, we would love to see either sporty Kia concept come to fruition. But if the two designs are combined to make a RWD, luxurious, lightweight grand tourer?
Who do we make the check out to?