Korean maker drops a big hint towards the look of Cee'd hot hatch
22 May 2007

Kia is planning to release a range of performance saloons and hatchbacks over the next three years all under the "XR" badge, and Autocar can bring you an exclusive preview of the first of them.The maker dropped a considerable hint when it revealed this re-styled, XR-badged Kia Cee’d at a press gathering near the company’s Korean HQ last week.Officially this is just a standard Cee'd with Kia's accessory styling kit. Judging by the well-resolved nature of the bodykit and the discrete badging though, we'd say it’s likely that the production versions in Kia’s performance range will look very similar.

Powering the XR brand

Although this car was powered by a stock normally aspirated engine, Kia sources told Autocar that engineers were working on both turbo and supercharged engines for future models."Turbocharged engines would be aimed at Europe and supercharged engines at the American market because of different customer demands," the source said.

A "glocal" strategy

Kia says that it is currently operating a "glocal" (globalised, but local) growth strategy. Significantly boosting Kia’s brand image between 2005 and 2008 should help move the company into profitable growth by 2009, bosses say.A high-performance sub-brand will be a part of this brand-building that Kia hopes will help grow sales from 1.32m in 2006 to 2.5m by 2010. Company bosses say they also want to boost European sales by nearly 100 percent from last year’s 308,000 to 609,000 in 2010.The plans for North American are only slightly less ambitious, with an aim to go from 315,000 units to 627,000 over the same time frame. A new plant in Georgia, capable of building 300,000 cars annually, will be on stream by 2009.

Hilton Holloway

Our Verdict

Kia Cee'd

The Kia Cee’d is more than good enough to harry the opposition

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Seat Leon ST Cupra 2.0 TSI 4Drive 300PS DSG
    First Drive
    28 April 2017
    Seat's fastest Leon ST is fun to drive quickly and has enough space for all the family, but VW's own Golf R Estate is even better to drive
  • Porsche 911 GT3 manual 2017 review
    First Drive
    28 April 2017
    The new 911 GT3 is an excellent machine; does the addition of a manual gearbox make it even better?
  • Skoda Karoq
    First Drive
    28 April 2017
    The Yeti has morphed into the Karoq for its second generation, and this early drive reveals a solid, practical small SUV that could challenge the class best
  • Opel Ampera-e
    First Drive
    27 April 2017
    Opel's second-generation Ampera is smaller than the first, and now purely electric. It's also very capable with a remarkable range
  • Lotus Elise Sprint
    First Drive
    27 April 2017
    The latest incarnation of the Elise may be out of its depth on track, but on the public road it is probably the purest version since the original