The Kia that wowed the Frankfurt Motor Show has opened its doors exclusively to Auto Express. Design director Peter Schreyer was keen to show us the bold concept that he believes can help take the company in a daring new direction.
He told us: “I wanted to make cars I would be proud to sit in, be seen in and to drive – and Kia didn’t build cars like that before.”
That’s certainly the case with the GT, which bursts with eye-catching details such as 21-inch propellor blade alloy wheels, a single-piece integrated LED tail-light and contrasting copper roof line.
Powered by a 3.3-litre turbo V6 with nearly 400bhp, the GT offers serious performance, but Schreyer believes that it would be a hit with any engine. “I think done in the right way, with a smaller engine or hybrid technology, it would work,” he explained. “It would still be fast, but return good fuel economy, too.”
Schreyer is also convinced that a production version is exactly the kind of emotional product the brand needs. “Every company needs a halo car... The coupe market is dominated by German brands, and the GT is Kia’s first step. It’s like putting a foot in the door of the club.”
Meanwhile, Kia is also sprucing up its current model line-up, with the news that the facelifted Soul will start at £12,495 when it goes on sale this week. A flagship ‘4’ version of the Cee’d hatch, with more power and a leather interior, is set to arrive, too.