KOREAN carmaker Kia is lighting the fires and stoking up the pressure on its rivals by announcing details of its first hot hatch models.
The high performance pro_cee’d GT, with its three doors, and the five-door cee’d GT are expected to go on sale in the middle of next year.
Kia is fitting an updated version of its 1.6-litre GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) engine in to both GT models, which will be fitted with a twin-scroll turbocharger. The end result is a dramatic increase in both torque and power. Power output will be 204PS (201 bhp) — a huge increase of 51 per cent over the naturally aspirated non-turbo version, while the torque rises even more — 61 per cent — to 265Nm (195 lb/ft).
The power is channeled through a six-speed manual gearbox, which helps the new models dash from zero to 62mph in 7.9 seconds.
Significant developments to the chassis and suspension systems will ensure that the performance credentials of these more powerful models are matched by exceptional dynamic characteristics.
To stand out from their sister cars, Kia’s pro_cee’d GT and cee’d GT models will incorporate unique features that highlight the more emotionally-charged driving experience that they offer.
New grilles and lamp clusters, deeper bumpers, unique 18-inch alloy wheels, red brake calipers and special paint finishes will result in a striking, more purposeful exterior. The look of the GT models is also distinguished by pairs of jewel-like, four-point LED daytime running lights, which give added character and presence, as well as aiding safety.
For the interior, the addition of Recaro sports seats, alloy pedals and bespoke surface materials will create an engaging, performance-oriented ambience for the driver and passengers.
Production of the Kia pro_cee’d GT and cee’d GT is scheduled to begin at Kia’s facility in Žilina in mid-May 2013, with cars on sale across Europe from mid-year. Prices and specifications will be confirmed closer to the on sale date.