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

  • Audi RS4 Avant
    First Drive
    22 January 2018
    We get our hands on the barnstorming Audi RS4 Avant in the UK to see if this fast family estate can take the fight to the Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate
  • BMW X3
    Car review
    19 January 2018
    The stakes have never been higher for BMW’s mid-sized SUV, now the X3 in its third generation. So can it deliver?
  • Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    19 January 2018
    Better looks, better value, better range, stronger performance and a quiet and relaxing drive make the Nissan Leaf a leading EV contender again
  • Volkswagen Up GTI
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Funky, light, enjoyable and even reasonably priced, the Volkswagen Up GTI is a car to be appreciated on its own compelling terms
  • Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSI 110 Redline
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Our first flavour of the 1.0 TSI-engined Skoda Fabia on UK roads shows it’s versatile but not all that sporty