The third-generation Kia Cee'd hatch has been spied during development testing in Germany, ahead of its anticipated reveal sometime later this year.
Despite the shrouds of camouflage, we can see that the new hatch will bear a strong resemblance to the new Stinger sports sedan, which could also preview the look of the next-generation line-up for the Korean brand.
Up front are slim headlights with quad-LED daytime-running lights (though only one side is working), along with a slimmed-down version of the company's 'tiger nose' grille - also similar to that seen on the Stinger.
The Cee'd's side profile is reminiscent of the Hyundai i30 - which the Kia is closely related - while the rear features angular, jewel-like tail-lights that are similar to those seen on the Optima Sportswagon.
Photographers also managed to nab a photo of the cockpit, which looks like it's been lifted straight from the Sportage SUV.
The stacked centre console design is driver-oriented, and features tiers of buttons - climate controls lower down, audio controls in the centre and infotainment/navigation controls at the top.
While the central infotainment screen looks a little low rent, it's likely this is a lower-spec variant (note the cloth-trimmed seats), so expect a larger screen to feature on up-spec models.
In terms of powertrains and underpinnings, the Cee'd is essentially Kia's version of the i30, meaning the new hatch will get a range of three- and four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, mated to a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch transmission depending on powertrain.
It's believed the new Kia Cee'd will make its debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September, and will be joined by a Sportswagon version later on.
Kia's local arm says there are no plans to bring the Cee'd here, with the small car slot in Australia reserved for the Cerato.
Speaking with CarAdvice, Kevin Hepworth, general manager for media and corporate communications at Kia Australia, said: "While they are similar vehicles, Cee'd and Cerato (Forte) are made for different markets and produced from different factories in Europe and Korea".
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