Kia is set to launch a wave of hot GT derivatives, and we’re also told that the chassis tune of the brand’s standard cars will become more dynamically focussed.
Although the original ProCeed GT was designed exclusively for Europe, Hyundai and Kia’s performance development boss Albert Biermann, the former BMW M engineer, says that future versions will be sold globally. “The Ceed GT is a very balanced car,” he told us at the opening of a new test track at the company’s Namyang R&D Centre in Korea, “but we are a few years further down the road, and if we were to engineer it now it would have some more spice to it.”
Biermann admitted that “GT is not right for all Kia models” but we’re told that the plan is to create a performance derivative for most of the company’s mainstream cars. The Optima GT is set to launch shortly, with a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 242bhp, and as we’ve previously reported the company is also planning a GT version of the next Rio to rival the Fiesta ST. The obvious gap in the range is a GT version of the strong-selling Sportage SUV, something Biermann admits he would love to create, although no such model has been signed off yet. “A GT version would be a very interesting thing to do and I think we cannot go too wrong on that,” he told us, “but we need to make the case for it.”