The long-anticipated new Kia sports sedan, a ‘four-door coupe’ believed to be known internally by the codename CK, has been spied for the first time.
The new model, which clearly takes its styling cues from the well-received 2011 GT and 2015 Novo concepts, is expected to make its official debut later this year.
Much has been reported about Kia’s plans for a premium new rear-wheel-drive sports sedan since the GT first appeared in Frankfurt some five years ago.
That concept was expected to preview a large offering that would share its platform with the big (Hyundai) Genesis G80, but more recent times have hinted at plans for a mid-sized offering based on the only recently confirmed Genesis G70 sedan.
The proportions of the vehicle shown here suggest it may be a large rather than mid-sized offering, but with only two tightly-cropped images to work from, we may yet be surprised.
Kia has itself made no secret of its plans in that arena, announcing in 2014 that it was “seriously considering” a new flagship sports model.
Above: the new model clearly shares much with the 2011 GT concept, pictured here
“Although official confirmation on plans for mass production cannot be given at this time, we at Kia are seriously considering the introduction of a sporty, brand image leading model in the near future that would be the most high performance Kia vehicle to date,” the Korean car maker said in a statement.
The GT’s more practical packaging made it a more likely direction, however, and these new spy photos are surely our first look at that new hero.
It’s no surprise, either, with Kia and Hyundai design chief Peter Schreyer saying in 2011 that the GT is “exactly the kind of car Kia should be making”.
“It would be a dream to put this into production - it has a logical layout, with four seats, and good luggage space, and it’s also engaging and dynamic and makes a strong statement,” Schreyer said.
In 2015, Kia Australia communications manager Kevin Hepworth told CarAdvice that a more advanced design of the GT had been developed in secret.
“It’s still a four-door coupe, but it’s not identical to the concept. Like all concept cars that look sensational, you lose a little to practicality when you’ve got to build a car that meets all the crash regulations around the world,” Hepworth said.
Above: expect the new model's front-end to take more front-end inspiration from the more recent 2015 Novo concept
As these shots show, the new model’s proportions will remain faithful to the GT and Novo concepts, with a tapered four-door coupe profile, a tall rear deck and what looks to be a long bonnet.
Large sports wheels and a quad exhaust layout hint at big power, suggesting a performance-tuned six- or eight-cylinder engine is lurking up the front.
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 North American market.
Watch for more on the new Kia sports sedan to surface in the months ahead, and stay tuned to CarAdvice for news of its Australian potential.