Kee to become affordable rear-drive sports car

Kia’s 2008 Kee coupe concept could be turned into a compact, rear-driven, affordable production sports car using recycled platform technology from Hyundai’s Genesis Coupe.

In an exclusive interview Kia design director Peter Schreyer told Autocar that the Kee wasn’t in the European product plan for the next two years, but also confirmed that he is very keen to bring added strength and desirability to the Kia brand with such a car.

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What’s more, Schreyer would back the adoption of a rear-driven platform, even though it could make the Kee more costly to manufacture.

“The next two years are about replacing and renewing our current line up of core models,” he said. “Before the end of 2011 we will launch an all-new Picanto, a replacement for the Rio and a new Magentis.

“These are naturally our priorities because they are proven volume sellers. And the problem with Kee is that no one – not in Europe, the USA or Korea – can say with confidence what numbers the Kee would sell in.

“We are not like Audi or Porsche. We are not in a position to just create something and then announce to the market that it’s the perfect kind of sports car.”

Schreyer also told Autocar that Kia’s Korean executive management board is habitually conservative and pragmatic. meaning that, unlike Lexus with the IS-F, Kia would never invest in a sports car before a watertight and profitable business case was made.

“When you’re making cars like this, it’s important to make them with a great deal of confidence,” he went on. “So I think the Kia brand has to grow a little more in stature before the time will be right for Kee.”

“Assuming Kia’s European fortunes continue to improve at the rate they are now, we could be ready in, say, five years for a car like Kee. We could spin it off the Cee’d or Magentis platform, but for me, it would be important for the Kee to be rear-wheel drive. And there is, of course, already a rear-driven platform within the Hyundai-Kia group that we could look to use, if our timing was good.

“We would have to aim to rival the Mazda MX-5 and Toyota’s new rear-driven coupe. The car would not need to be very fast or very powerful, but it should be compact, affordable and fun – a true sports car.”

“Personally, I have to say that I’m very excited by the idea, and very enthusiastic to make it happen.”

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Comments
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12 December 2009

Hyundai/KIA should make the Kee as the Spiritual successor to the Hyundai Tiburon/Coupe. Let that Accent/Veloster thing be a premium hot hatch on the level of a cheaper MINI JCW, however, unlike the MINI is will be of a better value, easier to service, cheaper to run, more reliable, and more fuel efficient. First however, i thnk KIA should work on the Forte Koup. Give it a 6cyl, and prep one to go to Europe, and just call it Koup. The Euro one should be poised and ready for the curvy road.

KIA gets many requests on a daily basis to bring it over to Europe. Its a Dirt Cheap car, thats not cheap in quality. Its very good, and fills that Tiburon spot well here.

12 December 2009

By the way, the Hyundai Tiburon is simply known as the Hyundai Coupe in Europe. I agree though that the Forte Koup needs to come to the UK - it would really boost the brand's image here.

12 December 2009

I'd personally rather have the Genesis Coupe in the uk but the Forte is ok although it will have to undercut the amazing scirrocco by a lot to even have a chance of competing with it!

12 December 2009

[quote HyundaiSmoke]unlike the MINI is will be of a better value, easier to service, cheaper to run, more reliable, and more fuel efficient.[/quote]

Perhaps but the Mini is front wheel drive and after reading your comments on the dangers of light-weight rear wheel drive cars on the Toyoraru thread you have conviced me to sell my MX5 (perhaps I should do the decent thing and scrap it. I don't want to be responsible for the buyer, or worse still his wife or girlfriend, ending up smashed up and stranded in a ditch on an icy day). Your absolutely right rear wheel drive is crap ergo Kia Coupe is crap and the Mini is a vastly superior car.

You may have save my life Hyundaismoke and I thank you.

12 December 2009

Hyundai has a refresh planned in 2011 on the Gen Coupe. They look to give it a 2.4 Turbo, there are V8 rumors, and the 2.0L Turbo will be shared with the Accent.

I thik they should do a Limited proudction run in Europe of the V8 to test the waters. The 3.8 Grand Touring comes close but fall short to the Intinfti G coupe, but its techincally superior than a Mustang not including performance. The 2.0s Performance is competitive with a Civic Si but thats for Fuel Economy reasons anyway (Note: The Gen Coupe gets better fuel economy and power than the outgoing Tiburon/Coupe) , but even the Value 2.0 has a near premium interior. Its a much more substantial car than the Coupe ever was.

Hyundai did benchmark the Gen Coupe against the Acura/Honda NSX, and it has more power, better fuel eocnomy, and a Better interior than the NSX; and at a value. Acura NSXes are a collectors item here. Some dealers still somehow are able to get brand new Acura NSXes from the 2005 Model year.

The Gen Coupe does fill a Niche nobody fills at least in this market. A near Luxury Coupe, that performs well, leads in fuel economy in the Coupe class, and comes at a value. You either get Econo Coupes like the Mitsubushi, or Tier 1 Luxury Coupes like the BMW or Infinti. Hyundai is the only make with a coupe dead smack in between, and its a shame Europe is missing out.

12 December 2009

.[quote tannedbaldhead]

[quote HyundaiSmoke]unlike the MINI is will be of a better value, easier to service, cheaper to run, more reliable, and more fuel efficient.[/quote]

Perhaps but the Mini is front wheel drive and after reading your comments on the dangers of light-weight rear wheel drive cars on the Toyoraru thread you have conviced me to sell my MX5 (perhaps I should do the decent thing and scrap it. I don't want to be responsible for the buyer, or worse still his wife or girlfriend, ending up smashed up and stranded in a ditch on an icy day). Your absolutely right rear wheel drive is crap ergo Kia Coupe is crap and the Mini is a vastly superior car.

You may have save my life Hyundaismoke and I thank you.

[/quote]You just not going to address this.

12 December 2009

I agree, tannedbaldhead I think its a bad Idea for KIA to make the thing rear Wheel Drive anyway. They should go AWD, the Genesis Coupe should go AWD as well. The Genesis sells here better than expected, but I think they can sell more if they had an AWD option. They sell between 2500-3500 a month. Half of America (including northern and central Texas) either snows or ices for 3-5 months a year, and that is a consideration to people at the dealer.

I know they were trying to go for that Value Alternative to the Audis of the world thing, but if Hyundai is going to be as gung ho about safety as they are striving to be I implore them to have an AWD variant. That K7/Cadenza and the Hyundai Azera are going to be the first Hyundai/KIA non-SUV/CUV products with AWD. I just wish it spreads to the range of cars, and spreads fast.

As I stated in the Toyotabaru posts Im still not a fan of the Genesis RWD System, or any RWD car for that much matter.

By the way, youre welcome tanned.

13 December 2009

[quote HyundaiSmoke]Half of America (including northern and central Texas) either snows or ices for 3-5 months a year, and that is a consideration to people at the dealer. [/quote]

So that is why so many opt for the AWD Mustang and Camaro these days, right?

13 December 2009

excuse me, theres no such thing as a ' toyobaru ' ?

www.KOOOLcr.com

 

13 December 2009

rtwingo, well Mustang and Camaro guys dont have the slightest care in the world about the snow and ice. They know they are going to slip and they dont care. They have to have that Mustang or Camaro.

If they are really concerned, they keep the Stang or Camaro in the Garage in the Winter and bring their AWD SUV out.

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