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.