Autocar is reporting that Paul Philpott, Kia’s UK boss, has not only confirmed the sports car’s introduction, but said it would go on sale “by the end of the decade.”
The Toyota GT86/Scion FR-S/Subaru BR-Z competitor will draw design inspiration from the GT4 Stinger Concept that was revealed at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, and will most likely be rear-wheel drive, but its performance specs are still a mystery.
Philpott went on to note that the sports car will be an entirely new model for Kia and will debut with an “affordable” price tag. It will also be sold globally, adding that, “a sports car just for Europe doesn’t have the critical mass to justify the level of investment required.”
The production version will wear the GT badge and will be the head of a group of three GT models for the Korean automaker: the GT sports car, the Proceed GT, and the Optima GT.
Also worth noting is that Hyundai will reportedly launch its own version of Kia’s sports car, with a shared platform, to slot under the new N Performance sub-brand. For Hyundai, this model will likely be its entry-level performance coupe, considering that a new Genesis coupe is in the works.
Though powertrains are pure speculation at this point, Kia’s GT4 Stinger Concept used a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder to develop 315 horsepower. With 50/50 weight distribution and a relatively light 2,874-pound body, the GT4 Stinger Concept had all the markings of a great driver’s car.
If the production version can mimic the Concept’s formula, even with 100 fewer horses, it should give the current entry-level sports cars a good fight, assuming they don’t up the ante too much before 2020.