If you thought Kia was going to eventually run out of attractive designs, the new three-door Kia pro_cee'd is certainly going to prove you wrong.
Although technically based on the five-door Kia cee’d (which was unveiled at the Geneva motor show earlier this year), the three-door Kia pro_cee’d is significantly more aggressive and portrays a sportier exterior look. To the uninformed, it may even appear as an entirely different car.
Kia’s head of design, Peter Schreyer, says the pro_cee’d reveals a more muscular stance with athletic lines. “This ‘coupe’ follows a very different visual path to the (five-door) cee’d. It’s a completely different car on every level.”
According to Schreyer and Gregory Guillaume, Kia’s chief European designer, the pro_cee’d was inspired by “muscular and honed bodies of world-class athletes”.
“We pictured a world-class sprinter crouched in the starting blocks,” says Schreyer, “and our eyes were drawn to their bulging shoulder muscles, full of power and pace, ready to be unleashed. That’s what we wanted to capture - all that performance potential, just waiting to be unleashed.”
Europeans markets will have the option of four different powertrains (two diesel, two petrol) available with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The 1.6-litre petrol automatic makes use of the dual-clutch transmission previously seen in the Hyundai Veloster.
Of course, looks can only take you so far and unlike the world-class athletes that can out-perform the great majority of other mortal humans, the Kia pro_cee’d continues with the same powertrain configuration as the standard five-door model, meaning its looks are begging for more performance credentials. In its fastest configuration, the 1.6-litre petrol manual sprints from 0-100km/h in a not-so-fast 10.2 seconds. In saying that, given the company has confirmed work on a Kia Rio turbo, it's likely we will see a proper hot-hatch version of the pro_cee'd in the near future.
Although the overall length and width are identical to the five-door, the pro_cee’d is 40mm lower while its B-pillar has been moved back by 220 mm. Pretty much everything behind the B-pillar is new, including the tailgate, rear light clusters and rear bumper.
The Kia cee’d range now includes the five-door, sportwagon and the pro_ceed three-door, but given it’s built in east Europe, it remains, officially, off the cards for Australia.
Kia Australia’s head of public relations, Kevin Hepworth, told CarAdvice “The cee’d has always been a model of interest to Kia Australia, but to date there have been some well documented hurdles to bringing the car to Australia. There has been a continuous process of assessment and that is continuing in light of the global financial situation and availability of models of interest.”
We suspect given the availability of the Sportwagon and the pro_ceed, the chances of seeing the cee’d nameplate in Australia in the future is more likely than ever before.