GT-Line models, available from £21,535, borrow much of their styling of the range-topping GT, but without the powertrain and suspension upgrades. They can be had with the familiar 1.0-litre and 1.4-litre GDi petrol engines producing 118 and 138bhp respectively, or 138bhp 1.6-litre diesel.
Buyers have a choice of the same six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearboxes as the larger Proceed, with top speed ranging from 118mph for the 1.0-litre variant to 130mph for 1.4-litre engine and manual gearbox.
The range-topping Ceed GT starts from £25,535. Equipped as standard with the manual gearbox and a 1.6-litre petrol engine producing 201bhp and 195lb ft, it is capable of 143mph and a 7.2sec 0-60mph time.
An additional six months of testing over the regular Ceed claims to have enhanced cornering behaviour. The Ceed GT sits 5mm lower than that car, with stiffer front and rear springs to improve responsiveness and softer anti-roll bars to boost grip and traction. A new steering rack is said to turn 17% faster than the old model's.
The standard Ceed's 288mm brake discs have been replaced with 320mm ventilated units, which Kia says will reduce the risk of repeated use affecting braking performance. The stability control system has also been retuned, while torque vectoring hardware is standard fitment.
Emilio Herrera, COO for Kia Europe, claims the GT occupies a unique position, as it “doesn’t simply chase the highest top speed or fastest straight-line acceleration. It offers greater agility and grip on winding roads and maximum confidence and comfort at a cruise.”
To enhance the Ceed GT’s aural drama, new flaps in the exhaust combine with an electronic sound generator pumping a sportier engine note inside. New black leather and suede sports seats also feature.
Kia has tweaked the Ceed’s exterior styling for the GT, too, with upgrades including unique front and rear bumpers, a honeycomb grille with red highlights, 18in alloy wheels and a roof-mounted spoiler.