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The production version of the well-received Kia GT concept, first revealed way back in 2011, has been caught testing in California this week.

This prototype had first been spied on the back of a truck in April, with a pair of tightly-cropped images offering a first look at the big four-door coupe.

Now, thanks to these revealing new photos taken near Kia’s styling centre in Irvine, California, we have the best look yet at the GT concept‘s long-coming production form.

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As expected, much of the concept’s core styling themes have carried over to the final design, with a traditional long bonnet reaching back toward a flowing coupe-like roofline.

A long wheelbase, very likely shared with Hyundai’s still-new Genesis G80, is capped by a relatively short overhang at the front and a notably long tail beyond the rear axle, just like the G80 and the related Kia K9/K900 large sedan sold in overseas markets.

As reported previously, the so-called Kia GT is expected to be offered with the ‘dream car’ configuration of a rear-wheel-drive layout matched to powerful engines, likely to include naturally-aspirated and turbocharged V6 options, and possibly a V8 – again like the Genesis and K9.

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The car maker is believed to be targeting 60,000 sales per year for the new sports sedan, with most of those undoubtedly expected to come from the left-hand-drive North American market.

Whether it will also be offered in right-hand drive remains to be seen, although it is believed that, like the Genesis G80 and coming G70 – if not the Kia K9 – this new GT will be launched globally as a brand-building project.

And, if a right-hand drive variant does appear, Kia Australia will be keen.

“It’s certainly a car we… rear-wheel drive, sporty, four doors… sure we’d be interested,” Kia Australia communications manager Kevin Hepworth told CarAdvice today.

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Another sporty rear-wheel drive Kia that could appear in the not-too-distant future is the GT4 Stinger, revealed as a concept in 2014.

Kia has yet to confirm plans on that front, and a prototype has yet to surface, but the company’s Chief Operating Officer in Australia, Damien Meredith, is confident.

Speaking with CarAdvice at the launch last month of the new Picanto city car, Meredith said: “[the Stinger is] still a long way off but on the radar and we’re looking at it”.

“Yeah I think you’ll find it’ll go to production. Couldn’t tell you when it’ll arrive in Australia in right-hand-drive guise, but certainly a possibility.”

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Above: the GT4 Stinger concept

The prototype spied here, clearly in an advanced stage of development, will undoubtedly debut before the end of 2016. The Stinger, if indeed it is on the way, is likely a 2017 prospect at the earliest.

Watch for more on both to come in the months ahead.

Click the Photos tab above for more spy photos of the new GT prototype. 

What do you think of Kia’s move to offer a large rear-wheel-drive four-door coupe? 

MORE: GT could debut soon, HQ still keen on Stinger coupe
MORE: Kia’s new sports sedan spied in heavy camouflage
MORE: GT concept ‘exactly the kind of car Kia should be making’




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