Kia GT Concept Greenlit for Production
Warning: Don’t Drink A Whole Mouthful of Water Before Reading This
Three years after its 2011 debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the Kia GT Concept has finally been given the go-ahead for production, and the sporty four-door fastback coupe will reportedly be available for purchase in about two years time. Kia executives at the Paris Motor Show told Edmunds that the Kia GT was intended to compete with the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo, the Audi A7, and the Porsche Panamera.
Yes, we were also a bit surprised to find out that Kia plans on entering that rarified air where Bimmers and Audis and Porsches (and bears, oh my) travel in style. But, as with the automaker’s K900, the Kia GT will probably try to appeal to customers who recognize that while it doesn’t have the pedigree of the big-name European brands, it offers comparable luxury at a (relatively) low price. The problem Kia faces, of course, is that many people who are in the market for a premium vehicle consider pedigree to be the most important feature (one of the reasons the Korean automaker isn’t selling many K900 models, even though Lebron likes them).
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While a diesel model will be sold in Europe, the Kia GT will be primarily aimed at the US market. When the GT arrives in American showrooms in late 2016, we can probably expect a rear-wheel-drive model that is powered by a turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 engine. In concept form, that engine yielded 389 horsepower and and 394 lb-ft of torque, and was paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
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The Kia GT Concept’s rear-hinged “suicide doors” are apparently being dropped for the production model, but Edmunds reports that customers can still expect “a high-end cabin with a wide array of electronics systems.” If Kia is serious about playing with the big boys, those better be some bomb-ass electronics systems.