By on December 1, 2016

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We’ve got a pretty clear picture of what the upcoming Kia GT sports sedan will look like (thanks to this pretty clear picture of a pre-production model), but Kia wants us to look inside.

In advance of the model’s unveiling, the Korean automaker hopes to boost cardiac BPMs by releasing a high-RPM video of the model on Germany’s famed Nürburgring.

Well, we think it’s the model. The video is shot from inside the vehicle, and neither Kia’s YouTube channel nor the model’s hype-generating website (thecurveahead.net) actually mentions the name of the vehicle.

Still, if Kia has something else in development that’s hot and due for a looming launch, we haven’t heard of it.

While on the track, we see the GT hit a speed of 151 miles per hour — an impressive feat, especially when you recall the lowly Sephia. The website counts down to January 8 at 6 p.m. (EST), the hour the wraps come off in Detroit.

As mentioned earlier this week, the GT is a sensible, rear-drive, four-door halo car for a brand that’s trying to put distance between itself and its sister company Hyundai. That means fielding a model that screams “Sport!” while lesser models take on an edgier attitude. (Sephia memories need to die, you see.)

The GT, which rides on the same platform as the upcoming Genesis G70, is expected to bow as a 2018 model with a 356-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 serving as a top-shelf motor. A number of drivetrains are expected, including a turbo four base engine and a potential naturally aspirated V6.

As for the name, well, it could have a date with the dustbin if Kia decides it’s too common.

[Image: Kia/YouTube]

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49 Comments on “Kia Goes All in on the GT Sports Sedan Hype...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “the GT hit a speed of 151 miles per hour — an impressive feat, especially when you recall the lowly Sephia”

    And the GT40 is impressive, if you recall the Edsel. Really?

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      The point was, look how far Kia has come in just the last 10-15 years.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      The Sephia was 20 years ago, not almost 60 and it was from the same manufacturer – in fact their first car that was not a license built Mazda (and that was only built in 1974). So that’s really a lot of progress in a short amount of time. I think that’s meant as a compliment to Kia, not an insult. I don’t think any volume American car manufacturer has achieved comparably rapid progress since Chrysler in the 1920s.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    Sport? I thought that was an Audi!

    I kid I kid…

  • avatar
    brn

    A Nürburgring video that shows even less than most? Not exactly tantalizing.

  • avatar
    turbo_awd

    I guess this is Kia’s once-in-a-lifetime chance to show off their new, sexy sports car, but still.. “come back in 38 days for the big unveiling” … of a so-far-under-the-radar car, most people would think they mean a Mustang GT..

    That’s overdoing it a little. I am actually in THIS market – assuming the car can go on a track without too much fuss. But I’m not going to sit idly by and wait 40 days to “hear more”. If I find a good deal in the meantime, I’m there.

    With the internet, do car shows still matter??

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      With the internet, do car shows still matter??

      I guess I’m really old school. I’ll go online and look at pics from NAIAS or one of the other shows but to me the car doesn’t exist until I spot one in traffic or I can drive passed the local dealer and see it sitting in the front row. So many cars today look different in real life than they do in pictures.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      Their target is longer term and not just the people who are in the market for a car in the next 40 days. Maybe they can get a few of those people to wait and see but that’s not their main goal.

  • avatar
    Jack Denver

    Will people go to a Kia dealership for a pricey sports car? K900 sales not encouraging. Hyundai has just spun Genesis into a separate brand for this reason (although it seems a half-hearted attempt – no free standing dealerships for now). Perhaps sports car buyers have somewhat lower expectations regarding their dealership experience vs. luxury car buyers, even if the sticker prices are similar, but still it’s hard to create a one size fits all dealership experience for customers who have learned to expect an experience that is more targeted to their price bracket. This goes for Genesis as well – just fixing the branding is not enough unless you can provide the dealership experience to match.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Genesis sedan sales were fine prior to the launch of the Genesis brand.

      Reason why Hyundai is spinning off a luxury brand now is that will have enough product (6 models) to sustain and support a separate brand.

      Kia will not have enough luxury product to do so.

      Aside from the K900 being an “old school” Korean luxo-cruiser (and one w/o available AWD at that), it suffered from not having an intermediate priced sedan like the Equus had with the Genesis.

      The GT/K8 will go a long way in helping sales of the next gen K900.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “356-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 serving as a top-shelf motor.”

    C’mon Kia, it’s not 2010. Try harder. Either do the 425hp V8 or boost that thing over 400.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Hey, that old engine is all brand new because they changed it slightly.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      Is there a point where a car is “too powerful” for the average buyer? I’m sure that those buyers who really want more than 400 hp out of that thing will figure out a way to tune it without that much difficulty, but at the price of fuel grade requirements, economy, durability, etc. but the average buyer may be happy with only an insane amount of horsepower by all historical standards vs a super crazy amount.

      • 0 avatar
        Adam Tonge

        I would expect over 400 HP out of a 3.3TT V6 in this kind of application. Maybe not in a truck or crossover, but definitely in a sports sedan.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “Is there a point where a car is “too powerful” for the average buyer?”

        I’d argue that the person interested in a not-small, zero prestige, RWD car in 2017+ (that’s marketed with racetrack videos) is not the “average” buyer in the first place.

        I don’t see any reason to tune the Kia and wreck my 10yr powertrain warranty when I can go almost anywhere else in the first place (including the Genesis dealership) and get more power from the factory.

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Denver

          As pointed out below, perhaps the target buyer is like a BMW 3-series buyer – someone who wants a sporty sedan, not a full blown sports car?

          You can get the heavier Genesis G80 with a more powerful V-8 but the G70 sport will have the same engine as this car – 365 hp turbo V-6.

      • 0 avatar
        thunderjet

        “Is there a point where a car is “too powerful” for the average buyer?”

        Any car can be too powerful if you can’t handle it. Modern electronics make high horsepower cars seem docile, unless you turn the electronic systems off.

        For a modern RWD sport sedan I’d want around 400hp from the top engine choice. We have the technological capability so why not?

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      Apparently a brand new proper sport sedan has an engine with basically the same HP as my four year old AWD crossover.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      All HP is not created equal. A 300 HP 335i is as fast as a 400HP E39 M5 (with the same transmission and only about 200lb less weight).

      More importantly, 350 HP is p-l-e-n-t-y for this kind of car on the street. It’s not an M3 GTS fighter… it’s more like a store brand 340i, which is actually great. Not everyone needs an HP rating to act as a penis extension…..

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Purportedly, there will be a higher boost version of the 3.3TT V6 down the line putting out 400HP+ (probably will be for a performance variant).

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    6500 RPM is not high RPM. My lowly single cam Civic does 500 better.

    That said, this definitely has potential. Unfortunately for H/K, where they usually fall apart is in the details.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I just don’t see this taking off for so many reasons.

    However, it is a sad day when Kia and by proxy, Mercedes, has become the standard bearer for 4-door RWD mainstream performance sedans.

    Only 1,000 VF Zeta platform 2017 Chevrolet SS models are coming. Ford offers nothing for RWD 4-door. That leaves the Mercedes platform derived Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger, which both have questionable futures, and coming soon…this Kia.

    I just don’t see the LS and Hemi the things crowd going for a…Kia.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    With some reasonable reliability and potentially lousy resale baked into the pie, we could have some nicely priced rwd sports sedans in the future

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    Some people buy the brand name to impress their neighbors. They won’t even notice this car because Kia isn’t a prestigious name. Some people (enthusiasts) buy a car for the way it drives and don’t care whether it impresses anyone else. Kia might have something here for the latter. We won’t know until a few competent drivers wring it out and write about the experience.

  • avatar
    Chan

    I hope Kia is planning to emulate or improve on the Genesis sales/service model, because owners of $60k cars do not want to buy and service their cars at anything like the current state of Hyundai/Kia dealers.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      You should check out Johnson Chevrolet, Mazda, Kia in Kirkland, Washington. Your brain will melt on the experience there (good – mind blowing good – when did this become a luxury dealer from a service department standpoint thanks for the latte good)

      • 0 avatar
        Chan

        Don’t get me wrong–H/K make decent cars now and I’m glad that there are reputable dealers.

        All the H/K dealers I’ve been to in CA made me want to vomit my brains out. The facilities were old and tired, yes, but the biggest problem lay, err…elsewhere.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      Genesis owners do not ever have to step foot in a service department for 3 years. KIA dealers do have a lot of improvement to do though, but most of the Hyundai dealers I’ve seen are new. I don’t expect KIA to offer 3 year valet service.

    • 0 avatar
      xtoyota

      Based on my experience it will be worse

  • avatar

    When I think of Kia and Hyundai vs BMW and Audi, I think of Samsung vs Apple in the smartphone market.

    Samsung, a Korean firm with distinctly non-premium history of microwave ovens and lo-cost televisions has morphed into a company whose cutting edge smartphones are as credible as those from Apple. The iPhone was always pitched as a premium product, the Samsung Galaxy series was just pitched as an extremely competent one. The fact that the two now compete for the same buyers shows that competence genuinely does sell.

    An aspirational image still seems key to success in the sports sedan market, with actual ability below it in the pecking order. Lacking such an image, any Kia eqivalent to a 340i will need to be spectacularly capable to gain market traction, and even then will be handicapped by depreciation, so it won’t finance as well as a BMW.

    Right now, if the product is as strong as it’s said to be – and the current European line of Kia offerings is close to parity with the best – Kia needs to be very careful in its marketing to avoid being weighed down with baggage from its unpromising early days.

    If Yugo created a world-beating supercar, you’d think they’d change the name.

    I have little doubt that Korean cars will directly rival European models for competence and standard of design and finish within the next few years. All they need to do now is become desirable.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      “Samsung, a Korean firm with distinctly non-premium history of microwave ovens and lo-cost televisions”

      And construction, banking, cars, industrial implements. They’re much more than you’d think. Much further reaching than Apple.

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