Here's Kia's answer to Volkswagen's Golf GTi and Ford's Focus ST - the Proceed GT. It's a hot hatch with a 200bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine, and will cost just over £20,000. Look out for its reveal at the 2013 Geneva motor show, with sales starting in summer 2013.
Tell me about the Kia Proceed GT...
The Proceed GT blends hot supermini power with mid-sized hatch dimensions, and it's cheaper than the familiar hot hatch crew. With prices in the low twenty-somethings, the Proceed GT will undercut the RenaultSport Megane and Astra VXR by several thousand pounds.
Visual clues will be bigger, sport alloy wheels, a red 'GT' badge set into the 'tiger nose' grille, and a full body kit. Prominent in the design sketch are quad LED running lights and red stripe detailing, similar to a Golf GTI. Although only the three-door Proceed is shown in the sketch, a five-door Ceed GT will follow. An estate Ceed GT hasn't yet been given the green light, but is under consideration.
Inside, you'll get sports seats and red stitching, GT badges and a healthy dose of kit. Don't expect a stripped out Cup version a la RenaultSport: the Proceed GT is gunning for the everyday market, not track-day nuts.
Tell me more about the Proceed GT's powertrain
The Proceed GT shares its 1.6-litre turbocharged four pot with the Hyundai Veloster Turbo, which costs from £21,995. However, power is pumped up to 200bhp in the Kia, up 16bhp over the 184bhp Veloster. A six-speed manual gearbox is the only transmission; Kia prefers the old-school approach rather than offering its dual-clutch auto.
Could we see more Kia GTs beyond the Ceed?
If the Proceed GT is a success, then yes. Kia is keen to create an in-house performance arm like Vauxhall's VXR or Ford's ST, meaning a breathed-on Rio supermini would be next in line. Kia has shown a hot concept version of the Soul crossover too, but it sounds like a convertible version has got the nod instead, for the important US market.
As for a punchier 250bhp hot hatch to match the class best, Kia says it will wait to gauge customer demand before signing off a flagship pocket rocket.
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