Kia would benefit from a small, rear-drive coupé, according to the boss of Kia's California design studio

The head of Kia's California design studio would like the firm to produce a small rear-wheel-drive sports car to rival the Toyota GT86.

Speaking at the New York motor show, Tom Kearns gave a resounding "yes" when asked if he thought Kia needed a sports car to help push the emotional appeal of the brand, and move Kia away from being a rational purchase.

"We'd definitely make one if we had my way," he said, stressing it was a personal opinion, rather than a company one.

"I think we should do a coupé over a convertible. A cabrio would be fun, but an affordable coupé in the US would prove more popular.

"Something like a Scion FR-S (the US version of the Toyota GT86) that's youthful, fun, affordable and rear-wheel drive would be great."

Kearns said he had "drawn one and made a model of one" in his design studio.

Our Verdict

Kia Soul 2009-2014

The Kia Soul is dull to drive, but it's an appealing, quirky product allthesame

Join the debate


4 April 2013

The image looks like a Citroen DS3 rival more than a Toyota GT86

4 April 2013

Surely isnt the answer just a new hyundia coupe with a Kia spin off. I was always abit puzzled why they never made a new one since i always thought the old one was quite popular and since it wasnt even that good id think with the new quality they seem to have now it would be a no brainer. And surely if they want to go upmarket they could make a good new rear drive chassis and use it for the could and maybe a 3 series rival. 

4 April 2013

Looks like a Nissan Cube on fat tyres, not a sports coupé.


I'm a disillusioned former Citroëniste.

4 April 2013

-for the moment,, but would be good if they do one for real. (It will be a great image changing tool)

4 April 2013

Strangely enough, I always thought the Kia Soul would suit a bit of a "hot rod" make-over ...

4 April 2013

The photo isn't of an intended coupe - just a concept something conceivably with more emotional pull. unless it's called a Kia Mulls?

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Audi A7 front
    First Drive
    14 March 2018
    The new Audi A7 Sportback looks the part, but how does the new Mercedes-Benz CLS rival cope on UK roads? We find out