Bosses are calling it Kia’s MX-5. The fast-expanding company has earmarked a roadster in its future plans as it works to position itself as a “dynamic, sporting, fun brand” – and our images show what the car could look like.
European CEO Paul Philpott confirmed that a two-seater would be the preferred choice as a desirable sports model. “I’d like to have a Kia MX-5,” he said. “2011 and 2012 are about establishing the brand. But for 2013 and 2014, we’re thinking about halo models that stretch the company forward.”
Speaking separately, chief designer Peter Schreyer also backed the car. He explained: “The brand deserves a sporty car, like a roadster.” The German is currently applying the ‘tiger nose’ grille to the growing range, and the new car will get a more aggressive version, with a deeper grille, as our pictures show.
Philpott said the company was positioning itself as a younger brand than sister firm Hyundai. He added: “There’s a big programme going on right now: How do we best differentiate Hyundai and Kia?
“In the past, we have been too close together, but if Kia is fun, dynamic and more youthful, Hyundai is more about style and comfort: more upmarket. VW manages brands more effectively than most. If you think Hyundai is more like VW, Kia is more like SEAT.”
Bosses revealed that the new sporty two-seater would be based on the next generation Kia Soul, which will also underpin a junior 4x4 designed to sit below the fast-selling Sportage. “We’re looking at the market for a smaller SUV that is four-wheel drive,” said Philpott.