Kia has been working on more than just re-designing the all-new 2016 Kia Optima. Over the past few years, they’ve produced a couple high-profile concept vehicles that showed off that the company is aiming for more performance than just what the brand has currently on offer. Nothing significant has manifested from this desire, however, but a recent report says that may change.
Speaking to Australia’s Drive, Kia America’s head of product planning Orth Hedrick stated that Kia will soon make good on its promise to deliver a car based on the GT concept. “We’ll have an announcement soon,” Hedrick said
This car was revealed in 2011 at the Frankfurt Motor Show and sported some proper Grand Tourer credentials. The GT concept was rear-wheel drive and packed a 3.3-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine capable of 390 horsepower.
More recently, Kia showed off a rear-wheel drive concept of something significantly more sport-oriented, the GT4 Stinger concept. This was revealed at last year’s Detroit Auto Show and was meant to be an image of Kia’s future contribution to the affordable sports car market. Powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, the Stinger would have 315 horsepower on tap sent to the rear via a six-speed manual.
It seemed almost too good to be true, and we were apparently right. “The GT is a sedan so it has a lot broader appeal than a two-door coupe. They don’t do well here. They do really, really good for 18 months and then they really fall off,” Said Hedrick.
He added that the marked needed to be stronger for longer in order to see a return in the investment, and thus why the Stinger might end up being relegated to the concept car could-have-been garage.
Hedrick says the GT on the other hand is being actively worked on, so we’ll be keeping an ear out for an official announcement.
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- Kia could follow up the Stinger with a stand-alone performance sub-brand