Kia would benefit from a small, rear-drive coupé, according to the boss of Kia's California design studio
27 March 2013

The head of Kia's California design studio would like the firm to produce a small rear-wheel-drive sports car to rival the Toyota GT86.

Speaking at the New York motor show, Tom Kearns gave a resounding "yes" when asked if he thought Kia needed a sports car to help push the emotional appeal of the brand, and move Kia away from being a rational purchase.

"We'd definitely make one if we had my way," he said, stressing it was a personal opinion, rather than a company one.

"I think we should do a coupé over a convertible. A cabrio would be fun, but an affordable coupé in the US would prove more popular.

"Something like a Scion FR-S (the US version of the Toyota GT86) that's youthful, fun, affordable and rear-wheel drive would be great."

Kearns said he had "drawn one and made a model of one" in his design studio.

Our Verdict

The Soul is billed as a shape-changing slice of urban cool. Is that enough?

The Kia Soul is dull to drive, but it's an appealing, quirky product allthesame

Join the debate


4 April 2013

The image looks like a Citroen DS3 rival more than a Toyota GT86

4 April 2013

Surely isnt the answer just a new hyundia coupe with a Kia spin off. I was always abit puzzled why they never made a new one since i always thought the old one was quite popular and since it wasnt even that good id think with the new quality they seem to have now it would be a no brainer. And surely if they want to go upmarket they could make a good new rear drive chassis and use it for the could and maybe a 3 series rival. 

4 April 2013

Looks like a Nissan Cube on fat tyres, not a sports coupé.


I'm a disillusioned former Citroëniste.

4 April 2013

-for the moment,, but would be good if they do one for real. (It will be a great image changing tool)

4 April 2013

Strangely enough, I always thought the Kia Soul would suit a bit of a "hot rod" make-over ...

4 April 2013

The photo isn't of an intended coupe - just a concept something conceivably with more emotional pull. unless it's called a Kia Mulls?

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    1 December 2015
    Bentley's big seller has a facelift for 2015 and we've driven it on UK roads for the first time in twin-turbocharged 4.0 V8 form. Is it still the pick of the range?
  • First Drive
    27 November 2015
    We try the turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol version of the Golf Bluemotion. If you're not doing mega miles, it's a better bet than the diesel
  • 2015 Mercedes-AMG A45
    First Drive
    27 November 2015
    Mercedes couldn't let the Audi RS3 get away with having more power than its AMG A45. As part of a wholesale A-Class facelift, it now has 376bhp and a host of other revisions
  • First Drive
    25 November 2015
    More powerful Clubsport version of Volkswagen's iconic hot hatch proves thoroughly entertaining on our track-only first drive in Portugal
  • First Drive
    25 November 2015
    Suzuki has added an automatic diesel powertrain to its S-Cross crossover line-up. Does it offer a compelling choice over the manual versions?