By on May 20, 2011

With VW wading into the budget roadster segment with its forthcoming BlueSport mid-engine roadster, it seems that Kia wants in on the action as well. Reports are surfacing in Europe and the US that the Korean automaker is making good on Peter Schreyer’s threats, and is developing its first roadster since it bought up the tooling and IP for Lotus’s front-drive Elan, which it sold in Korea between 1996 and 1999.

According to AutoBild, the new Kia roadster will be even shorter than the old Elan at around 144 inches, and should weigh about the same as the Miata at “just over 1000 kg” (2,204 lbs, or). With rear-drive, a 200 HP turbo engine, dual-clutch as an option and a mandatory cloth soft top, the new roadster is already being referred to as a “halo” by Kia’s US staff, so there’s no reason to suspect that this will be Euro-only forbidden fruit, although it will likely debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 2013. In the meantime, Kia will be developing this roadster’s all-new, rear-drive platform jointly with Hyundai, which should likely offer its own iteration about six months after Kia does (a Toyobaru coupe-fighter, perhaps?). With VW, Toyota, Nissan and now Hyundai-Kia getting into the lightweight rear-drive game, it seems we may just be at the dawning of a new age of unprecedented enthusiast options.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!


17 Comments on “Hyundai/Kia Developing Small Rear-Drive Platform, Kia Roadster Coming First...”

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • maui_zaui: I like the G70, but would take a Stinger over it mainly because I prefer the wider stance of the Stinger...
  • Ryoku75: XJR575 Wouldnt be a bad model designation for a fax machine.
  • thirteen20wrx: I recently had the opportunity to drive an NB Miata from Ft Lauderdale to Pensacola. Time constraints...
  • PenguinBoy: Nice piece Tim, and sums up the appeal of a late September run in a littler roadster nicely!
  • slavuta: “The vehicle handles relatively well as a daily driver” – sorry. Last time I drove it, I...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote


  • Contributors

  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States