This is Kia's new Proceed GT, a 201bhp hot hatch set to take on the VW Golf GTI. It's Kia's first ever sporty model, and it'll be available as both a slinky three-door Proceed GT (pictured) and the more sensible five-door Ceed GT.
What's under the bonnet of the new Kia Proceed GT?
The GT versions of the five-door Ceed and three-door Proceed are Kia’s first ever attempt at a sports-themed model, and are powered by a 201bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged engine. But despite that 201bhp, and 195lb ft of torque, Kia is only claiming a modest 7.9 seconds for the 0-62mph sprint.
The pair will be revealed at the 2012 Geneva motor show in early March, with sales for the three-door starting in the summer, and the five-door arriving in the UK in December 2013. Prices will start from around £20,000, company insiders have told CAR.
This Proceed GT looks pretty good, right?
These first pictures of the Proceed version show that Kia head design Peter Schreyer has trod a delicate line between hot hatch aggression and range-topping style. Quad LED driving light clusters give the GT a new take on the tired ‘necklace’ design, and the jutting lower grille is edged at the base with a Golf GTI-aping red stripe. Red brake calipers sit behind the standard 18in alloys, but the overall effect appears restrained rather than shouty.
Aside from the 18in alloys, standard spec will include Recaro seats and alloy pedals. That’s all we know for certain, but it’s role as an all-dancing halo model for the Slovakian-built Ceed range will mean that it’ll be well specced, according to our Kia source. That should translate to standard cruise control, climate control, parking sensors, and possibly leather trim, a rear parking camera and touchscreen sat-nav.
A six-speed manual gearbox will be standard, with no mention of future inclusion for Kia’s twin-clutch gearbox.
What’s the Proceed GT up against?
The elephant in the showroom for any hot hatch is Ford’s new Focus ST, starting at £21,995 and offering 247bhp from its 2.0-litre turbo engine. But Kia is keen to point out that that entry level ST is light on spec. And other savings over the Ford should include a less hurtful insurance bill and smaller fuel bills.
Also a threat is the Seat Leon FR 1.8 TSI, which costs £20,585 for the five-door manual. Power is down at 177bhp, but Seat claims a 0-62mph time of 7.2secs with an economy of 47mpg. There’s a three-door on the way and the option of VW’s DSG twin-clutch gearbox.
And VW's new Mk7 Golf GTI is just around the corner too...
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