On a recent report with Autocar, Hyundai Motor Group high performance boss Albert Bierman said that Kia will continue to sell performance-oriented vehicles, under the GT badge, but there’s not plans to follow what Hyundai did by launching a dedicated performance sub-brand like the N performance.
Speaking with Autocar, Hyundai-Kia high performance chief Albert Biermann said that South Korean carmaker will develop a small fleet of GT models but that unlike the N-branded models from Hyundai, racetrack performance will not be a priority.
“For Kia, it is not the decision to enter with high-performance cars. We did it with Hyundai N but there’s a clear decision not to with Kia, and GT needs to be a reasonable package,” Biermann said.
“With the Proceed & Ceed GT now, the minute you go high-performance, you need to work at a race track, and then the costs go up and the business case gets very challenging. Doing that next step is not an easy step.”
Kia’s new range of performance models started wit the launch of the Kia Stinger GT, a RWD and AWD sports sedan which is a direct rival to premium brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi. The Stinger features a in-house V6 twin-turbo 3.3-liter ngine delivering 365 hp.Despite the launch of Proceed & Ceed GT variants earlier next year, and according to Mr. Biermann, the next generation Kia Optima GT will take things to a new level thanks to updated powertrain and drivetrain.
“For the next Optima GT, you can expect an interesting powertrain and suspension at the next level. It’ll be the next level of Kia driving performance.” Probably uses the new Theta-3 engines.
A selection of other GT models are being planned by Kia, like the one based on the third generation Kia Soul. Another long waited model, the Rio GT, is not confirmed yet.