Kia is preparing to take on the VW Golf GTI with its first-ever hot hatch. This stunning three-door Pro_cee’d GT has made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, and it will go on sale in the middle of this year.
As we predicted at the end of last year, power comes from a 201bhp 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo, which puts the Cee’d GT firmly into ‘warm hatch’ territory – although it lags some way behind rivals like the 247bhp Ford Focus ST and Vauxhall’s 276bhp Astra VXR.
And it’s not just the engine that’s been pumped up, either: the Pro_cee’d GT stands out with its eight distinctive LED daytime running lights integrated into the aggressive new front bumper.
Honeycomb mesh grille inserts, a thin red pinstripe and a GT badge are also added at the front, while the sculpted body rides on 18-inch alloys with red brake calipers. Although it’s not visible in these images, Kia says there’s a twin-exit exhaust at the back.
Inside are Recaro sports seats with red stitching, which is repeated on the steering wheel and door. The leather wheel is also embroidered with the GT logo.
Unlike most of its rivals, the Pro_cee’d GT will be available only with a six-speed manual box, while it’ll cover 0-62mph in 7.9 seconds. That’s five tenths up on its Hyundai Veloster Turbo sister car, which uses a 184bhp version of the same engine, but 1.3 seconds slower than the new 217bhp Mk7 Golf GTI.
No precise details are available yet, but the car will feature firmer suspension and sharper steering, tuned for European tastes.
Kia is likely to offer multiple trim levels for the GT, with the same mechanical package but more kit. The highest spec will be based on the current flagship Cee’d 4 Tech, and will include leather upholstery and a seven-inch touchscreen with sat-nav, as well as a reversing camera and Parallel Park Assist System.
The Pro_cee’d GT will go on sale first with a price of less than £22,000, while a five-door Cee’d GT is due by the end of 2013.