Future Cars: Kia’s 2018 GT RWD Sports Sedan Could Bring The Fight To BMW’s 3- And 4-Series
Friday, June 17, 2016 at 4:31 am | Posted by John Halas
FILED UNDERFUTURE CARSKIAKIA SCOOPS
We have great news for rear-wheel-drive sedan enthusiasts; Kia’s stunning 2011 Frankfurt-debuting GT Concept is being readied for launch. Code-named ‘CK’, the low-slung sedan was spotted in prototype guise recently, flaunting its production-ready body under camouflage.
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So how is this newest offering from Kia shaping up? Well, let’s take an illustrated preview based on the spy shots we’ve seen so far.
The above heading gives a good indication on how the final design has evolved. Fans of the third-generation TF Optima may be pleased, however the GT’s silhouette does echo that car a little too closely. Frontal styling exudes restrained aggressiveness, complimented by a long hood and short overhangs. Gone are the concept’s retro front quarter windows, replaced with more traditional-looking window frames, as well as the suicide-style rear doors. Chrome fender vents extend along the base of the doors to emphasize luxury, while the rear is dominated by a tall trunk and quad exhausts.
As with the new Genesis G80, the GT is expected to offer the Hyundai group’s new 3.3-litre, twin-turbo V6, pumping out more than 365 hp. It's unknown if a manual transmission will be offered, however easy bets are that an eight-speed automatic transmission will be the default option. An entry-level variant is tipped to offer a direct-injected, 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit, but with turbocharging, so it should be no slouch. Some markets may also get a diesel unit as well.
Out of the two Korean siblings, Kia has branded itself as the sportier one, as opposed to Hyundai and its Genesis brand’s more upscale ethos. This should bode well for the GT’s handling too; a nimble footprint with RWD running gear could make for an appealing driver’s car. The platform is tipped to be a modified version that underpins the larger Genesis G80 luxury sedan and the future 3-Series rivalling G70, which in turn could pave the way for an all-wheel-drive variant.
A Fresh Face Among A Dying Breed:
It’s almost unusual to see a brand new, mainstream rear-wheel-drive sedan entering the market these days. Sure, we have the Chrysler 300C and Dodge Charger siblings, but they’re no longer fresh contenders.Chevrolet’s current SS will die off once its donor car, the VF2 Holden Commodore ceases production next year and arch-rival Ford is culling its Aussie-built FG-X Falcon this October.
This leaves Kia in a unique position to undercut more premium RWD rivals. Now there’s a question of how big the GT will be and how much it will cost, which in turn will determine its competition. Given the Korean group’s previous history, the GT might end up being closer in size to the BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe, but priced lower than the smaller BMW’s 4 Series GranCoupe, allowing Kia to place it as an alternative to a wide number of regular compact luxury sedans too, like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Jaguar XE, Lexus IS, Infinity Q50 and Cadillac ATS. If priced in the mid-$30,000 plus bracket, Kia could find a plethora of new fans.
Expect it to launch in 2017 as a MY2018 vehicle, although it’s unconfirmed if it will carry the Stinger or GT name.
Finally, what are your thoughts on Kia’s RWD offering and would you have one in your driveway? Share your views in the comments below.
By Josh Byrnes
Photo Renderings Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes