By Ronan Glon
Thursday, Nov 22nd, 2012 @ 11:43 am

Kia CEO Hyoung-Keun (Hank) Lee has confirmed that the company is readying a performance-oriented hot hatch that will target the iconic Volkswagen GTI.

Based on the pro_cee'd that bowed in Paris last September, the car is called HPV internally but it will likely be christened pro_cee'd GT when it hits European showrooms next year.

The GT will be powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that is already found under the hood of several Kia and Hyundai products, including the acclaimed Veloster Turbo. The mill will send 200 horsepower and 195 lb-ft. of torque to the front set of wheels via either a six-speed manual transmission or a dual-clutch automatic unit.

Designer Peter Schreyer has reportedly given the GT a specific exterior treatment to make it stand out from the pro_cee'd, though precisely what the modifications will consist of is not currently known.

The pro_cee'd GT will not be only performance-minded member of the Kia lineup. Lee confirmed to England's Autocar that the company is mulling the launch of a large rear-wheel drive sedan similar to the GT concept that bowed in Frankfurt last year. If given the green light for production, the car will be rear-wheel drive and it will serve as Kia's flagship sedan.

"In my opinion, a sports car should be rear-wheel drive," said Lee. We need a certain product to help with our brand image. We have tried a couple of concept cars and found some potential in the GT. We will try a couple more in the future, starting at Geneva next year, and test the media and consumer response before choosing one."

Kia is expected to make a decision on which direction its halo model will take in the very near future.

Here at Leftlane, we believe the contributions of the community are just as valuable as those of our staff. The Web, at its core, is a medium for information sharing and communication. We strive to provide good information, but without you—the community member—there is no communication. Read More>>