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First it was Hyundai to announce its ambitions plans to bring the V8 Hyundai Genesis (there are also rumours the new Hyundai Tiburon will be a rear-wheel drive turbo) and now Kia, Hyundai’s sister company is expanding its range to include an “XR” performance series.

Unfortunately for Kia, in Australia the “XR” brand might pose a problem, given that Ford Australia already uses this branding for all its performance range here, with the XR8/XR6/XR5 and the soon to be released Fiesta XR4, Kia might have to rethink the name down under, but the name is a minor issue.

Autocar reports that Kia are planning to introduce a whole range of performance sedans and hatchbacks in the next three years. Kia showed of its ambition by teasing journalists when it revealed this re-styled, XR-badged Kia Cee’d at a press conference near the company’s Korean head quarters last week.

Although the car pictures is simply just a standard Kia Cee’d with a body kit, Kia has confirmed that the actual XR range will have some go to match the show. Apparently, Kia intends to have turbo and supercharged engines for its XR range.

“Turbocharged engines would be aimed at Europe and supercharged engines at the American market because of different customer demands,” Autocar Reports.

We hope the rumours are true and Kia does bring out the XR range in Australia (albeit mostly likely with a different name).

We just hope it won’t be the case of another Kia Rio, WRX STi copy (pictured). Kia needs to be original with its design to attract its target youth audience with the XR range.

Kia’s plans are to increase its market share and improve its image in the next 3 years. Kia aims to increase sales from 1.32m globally (2006) to 2.5m by 2010.

There is currently no word from Kia Australia regarding the XR range, if they are still waiting for public reaction, let us be the first to say, please Kia, bring the turbo/super charged variants to Australia!




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