In an effort to cultivate a younger, more hip image, Kia is planning to release its first ever sports sedan in 2017. While much of the project is still cloak and dagger, what we do know is enough to get any sports car enthusiast excited.
Kia’s GT concept sports car was unveiled back in 2011 at the Frankfurt Auto Show, but despite the buzz it generated at the time, we still have nothing to show for it. Recent reports, however, are saying the rear-wheel-drive sports sedan is coming in 2017, which has given Kia plenty of time to perfect the design.
No names have been released yet, but the car is reportedly going by the codename CK. It’s also expected to use the same platform as the mid-size Genesis G70 coupe by Hyundai, which isn’t much of a surprise since the Kia K900 shares a platform with the Genesis G80 sedan. Kia will begin production on “CK” in May of next year and target an initial annual output of 60,000 vehicles, though these plans have not been made official.
What We Can Expect
We know that the new Kia sports sedan will be a four-door model in direct competition with BMW’s 4 Series and the Audi A5. Sources say the model will feature a 2.0-liter base engine with 2.2- and 3.0-liter options. The new vehicle will be smaller than Hyundai’s mid-size Genesis, making it the first compact sports sedan from either Hyundai or Kia. It’s also been verified that the car will be a rear-wheel-drive, which will make CK Kia’s second RWD model after the K900.
The new Kia sports car is also expected to be affordable and feature-packed, making it more budget-friendly than up-market sports sedans. Despite the fact that Kia has built a reputation on building cheap, fun cars, they’ve made no secret of the fact that they’ve long desired to add a new sedan to their lineup, and wanting to reshape the brand to appeal to more profitable segments is a great excuse to create something groundbreaking.
Drawing on the Soul’s Success
The Kia Soul made waves with the younger crowd thanks to its unique styling and targeted marketing campaigns, which has given Kia a head start on revamping its reputation to include more vibrant, quality vehicles than when the company first drove onto the scene. Millennials now top Generation Xers in new-car buying, which has signaled a shift in consumer preferences that place affordability and sustainability over anything else. Because of this, car companies have had to rethink their strategies.
Offering a sporty coupe at an affordable price point is a smart move on Kia’s part, and other automakers would be wise to follow suit.
It’s important to emphasize that what we do know about the CK project is based on rumors from trusted sources, but the car we actually end up with could look very different than what’s been on the drawing board. Still, the new Kia sports sedan is something worth getting excited about!
“Kia Optima” via Flickr by peterolthof. Used with permission via CC BY-ND 2.0 | cropped from original