By on August 19, 2011

Over the last several months I’ve been especially glad that TTAC is relatively more free from the demands of the news cycle, as the doldrums of August has left us with little in the way of breaking news. Luckily TTAC is blessed with the kind of writers who can make even the most obscure story relevant and fascinating, and we’ve kept up our story cadence rolling even through the near media blackout of deep summer. But with just under a month left before the first and biggest auto show of the year, the Internationale Automobile Ausstellung in Frankfurt, the concepts and new models are starting to be rolled out, and the news cycle is chugging back to life. And one of the sparks that’s getting things moving again is this Kia rear-drive, four-door sports coupe concept.

Kia’s design boss Peter Schreyer tells his fellow Germans at Auto Motor und Sport that

In three to five years, we’re going to offer a sportscar. This study will open a new chapter for Kia.

And, according to Kia boss Hank Lee, that future sportscar will be a four-door coupe model, not unlike both this concept and Kia’s earlier Kee concept (shown at the 2007 IAA). This is an interesting decision, considering that we’d heard earlier that this forthcoming sports coupe would be a small, lightweight coupe, as Schreyer explained

We would have to aim to rival the Mazda MX-5 and Toyota’s new rear-driven coupe. The car would not need to be very fast or very powerful, but it should be compact, affordable and fun – a true sports car.

We’ll continue to watch this program, as between this, Toyota’s FT-86/FR-S and the rumored Nissan Silvia sports coupe, we’re looking at something of a renaissance for small, affordable, rear-drive sports coupes. In the meantime, the next big Kia announcement, also be at the IAA, will be a production version of Kia’s Genesis-platform luxury flagship. With the silly season officially behind us, now more than ever, it’s time to be watching this space…

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20 Comments on “Kia Celebrates The End Of The Silly Season With Four-Door Coupe Concept...”


  • avatar
    threeer

    Not sure if the American buying public will go for it (witness the lack of small, affordable sports cars that are left on the market)…but I’m all for it! I don’t need 350 HP for a car to be fun (my MkI MR2 in NA form was a hoot, as was our second gen CRX Si)…lightweight, rear drive and manual tranny…bring it on!

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      It’ll be a niche vehicle like the Panamera or Quattroporte. Uniqueness has its own snob appeal, especially if it is affordable to the middle class. And this would be unique.

  • avatar

    The thing is, I don’t see pricing much below the $25,000 range, a bit rediculous for what it is. Give me one for $17k or $19,995 out the door (Loaded) and we’ll talk.

  • avatar
    rustyra24

    This car looks awesome. The only thing they need to change is the mirrors.

  • avatar

    With the RX-8 going away, I hope someone will step up and offer a practical four-door sports car with stellar handling.

    • 0 avatar
      HiFlite999

      I’m not sure anyone will ever match the RX-8 with that combination! That why I’m keeping mine until the last oil well starts sucking air.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        The RX-8 was never financially attainable for most people. If Kia uses existing components in their parts bin, they may be able to keep costs down and appeal to a broader base of incomes (i.e <$40K/annual and up).

    • 0 avatar
      ccd2

      I just don’t see anyone offering this on the horizon, at least not for less than stupid money. The Panamera probably comes closest to this, but you need a $100,000..or more. For truly stellar handling sports car under $100,000 all you can get is two door and a faux back seat (e.g. 911 or Evora).

      Right now and for the foreseeable future, the best that can be done is a very good sports sedan like the best offerings of BMW (1 Series M, 335is, M3). Not quite the same thing, but probably close enough for most people. Four door sports cars are a VERY rare breed. The RX-8 will be missed.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    To my eyes they managed to get the corporate grille on there without making it look tacky.

  • avatar
    Robert Fahey

    Beware the niche. Few who dare enter one live to tell the tale.

  • avatar
    jaje

    That is simply gorgeous – better looking than most of the $100k+ super sedans. Though beauty can only be skin deep – this one is a stunner. ACURA – fire your designers now and hire some of these Kia guys – pay what they ask.

  • avatar
    bryanska

    If anybody can dethrone the Miata on cost, it’s Kia, but their suspensions are not as refined or well-sorted.

    Plus, their competency is moving away from hydraulic steering.

    Finally, the Miata has the British sensibility all locked up. I am biased, but I don’t really want a roadster without Britishness.

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    If this thing ever becomes reality, I think they will sell enough of them to at least break even. If wealthy people buy Panamera and Quattroporte cars which have no application other than a niche, people with less money will certainly choose to buy this Kia offering. And considering the impact that Hyundai/Kia has already made on the North American market, this novel sporty vehicle may just find a niche.

    The key is affordability by utilizing common parts already in the Hyundai/Kia parts bin, i.e. Hyundai’s excellent Turbo-4 coupled to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. No doubt, it’ll sell.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The front side air inlets on this concept are very reminscent of that of the Kee concept dating back to 2007.

      The One-77′s treatment is more similar to that on the Veloster concept which also debuted in 2007.

      I’d tweak the front and rid of those awful rims, but other than that – this looks great.

      Looks to be Kia’s 4-door coupe version of the K9 sedan – meaning that it would be priced (if built) somewhere btwn the R-Spec Genesis and Equus and probably a little higher than the K9.

  • avatar

    Neat!

    A little bit 177/FT-86 in the nose + with a slightly Aston-ized company grill-surround,

    But otherwise, really cool. You GO, Pete!!!

    I wish they had the other pix here, ala AB, they are pretty snazzy.

    .
    Now all they need is to put them all out at 600hp for $20k,

    and we can have a KIASUPERKARPOKALYPSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • avatar
    ZekeToronto

    Another stunner from Schreyer. Can’t wait to see it in person.


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