Not April Fool’s: Kia plans rear-drive BRZ/FR-S-fighting sports car

2014 Kia Forte Koup drivingIt may sound like an April Fool’s joke, but Kia is apparently working on a two-seat, rear-wheel drive sports car to rival the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S twins. The Korean carmaker has done a lot to revamp its cheap-o image, but a truly “sporty Kia” still sounds like an oxymoron.

Granted, the potential Kia sports car isn’t coming anytime soon. Designers have just begun working on it, England’s What Car? reports.

“We have made a model of an affordable, two-seat, rear-wheel-drive coupe,” Kia designer Tom Kearns told What Car?.

Since they debuted last year, the BRZ and FR-S have been the darlings of the car world because of their simplicity and focus on driving fun. By co-opting the popularity of these cars (and the equally petite Mazda Miata roadster) Kia could find a profitable niche and there could be other benefits as well.

A small, two-seat Kia coupe would perfectly complement parent company Hyundai’s four-seat Genesis Coupe. The choice of two sizes of rear-wheel drive sports coupe would make for a dynamic duo unmatched by any other mainstream carmaker.

It would also add some fun to Kia’s competent but serious lineup. With the exception of the fabulously frivolous Soul, Kia doesn’t really take on projects that won’t win it plaudits in the pages of Consumer Reports.

Right now, Kia builds some of the best looking cars on the road, and they’re faultlessly reliable to boot. However, dynamically, they are outclassed by their rivals from Honda, Mazda, Nissan, and Ford.

A Kia BRZ/FR-S competitor would give the brand an air of sportiness, and it would give enthusiasts another choice for their next drift car. Maybe, in the process, some of that sportiness will rub off on Kia’s other products, too.


Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.

Fast and Furious fans get revved up: Toyota’s Supra sports car is back

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.

Hyundai’s Veloster N hot hatchback will prove its mettle on the track

The Hyundai Veloster N will go racing to prove the credibility of Hyundai's new N performance division. Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Veloster N race car will compete in a class with other small cars.

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.

Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.

Worried about commuting in winter weather? Nissan has the answer

The Nissan Altima midsize sedan is now available with all-wheel drive. To advertise that fact, Nissan's Canadian division slapped some tank-like tracks on an Altima to create a one-off show car.
Emerging Tech

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.

Lyft and Aptiv’s self-driving car program has come a long way (but not far enough)

Many companies talk about self-driving cars, but Lyft and Aptiv are already using a fleet of them to transport paying customers in Las Vegas. Hop in for a close look at the tech of autonomous cars, and the challenges they face.