Kia is deciding whether to launch a new rear-wheel-drive sports model or a compact Nissan Juke-rivalling SUV as its next non-core model.

Speaking on the launch of the new Carens and Procee'd, Kia Europe's chief operating officer Michael Cole revealed Kia was weighing up both options as it looks to cement its future as a main player in the European new car industry.

"Everyone now knows our five-year plan to replace our volume models," said Cole. "We now have Peter Schreyer [Kia's design chief] looking at a halo sports car – he's keen on a GT.

"But we're also looking at a B-segment SUV through the Provo concept [seen at the recent Geneva show]; that's the real intense sector of the market and we could do it off the Rio base so that's what I could see in Europe," said Cole.

Cole hinted that it was not a case of 'either/or' as to whether Kia launched a rear-drive big hatchback/saloon inspired by the GT or a smaller compact SUV inspired by the Provo SUV concept.

"We're looking at everything as to what future product holds," said Cole.

Cole also confirmed that the launch of a new Soul was imminent, possibly as soon as the New York motor show later this month.

"There will be a new Soul for Europe in the next 12 months and it will come to Europe," said Cole. "But we could still see the likes of the Provo as a European Soul in the future."

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