Could this be the turbo Cerato hatch we've been waiting for?

A prototype believed to be the upcoming Kia Ceed GT has been spied this week, ahead of an anticipated reveal at the Paris motor show later this year.

Key design changes between this vehicle and the base car include a bodykit under the heavy black sheeting and false body panels, larger alloy wheels and a dual exhaust system out the back.

There's a red pinstripe on the side skirts, along with red brake calipers peeping out from behind the new alloys.

Finer details remain hidden at this stage, but it's expected the Ceed GT will have a lot in common with Hyundai's i30 SR mechanically, meaning it should feature the same 150kW/265Nm 1.6-litre turbo four, sending drive to the front wheels via a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

While the previous Ceed was limited to the European market, this vehicle is almost identical to the prototype spied in Korea recently, indicating the new hatchback could become a global model – and possibly be badged as the Cerato locally.

The new-generation Ceed goes on sale in Europe during the second quarter of 2018, joined by the more practical Ceed Sportswagon variant a few months afterward.

Australia

Kia's local division has already confirmed the Cerato sedan will arrive around mid-2018. A hatchback version, meanwhile, is scheduled to arrive before the end of the year – though we're still yet to see a Cerato- or K3- badged hatchback at this point.

It's believed the Cerato hatchback will be a version of the Ceed, though how closely the two vehicles will be related in terms of looks and cabin trims is yet to be seen.

Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest updates over the coming months, and click the photos tab for more images.