We May See a Good-Looking Premium Korean Yet: Kia Announces GT Production
10 years ago, Kia, along with its Hyundai stablemate, housed a lineup of cars with styling that made the Toyota Avalon look like a Maserati Quattroporte. Then, in 2008, the Forte, molded by ex-Volkswagen and Audi designer Peter Schreyer, ushered in a new era of good-looking Korean cars that has completely transformed Kia’s image in just a few short years. No longer were the Koreans seen (as the Japanese automakers before them) as cheap imports competing on price above anything else. While the $35,100 Cadenza is the most obvious example of Kia’s move upmarket, the company has yet another trick up its sleeve: according to Automotive News, Kia is readying a production version of its GT concept car first shown at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 2011.
The sedan is not expected until late 2016 or 2017 at the earliest, according to the article. As the name suggests, it will be a large, RWD cruiser and will likely be the Korean manufacturer’s version of many of Cadillac’s offerings, that is to say a less expensive alternative to the glut of luxosedans hailing from Germany. The production GT will be the second RWD Kia on sale, as the range-topping K900 is set to debut early next year. There will obviously be design changes by the time the GT surfaces (the fender-mounted side mirrors immediately come to mind), but the final version should look a hell of a lot better than the similar, slow-selling Hyundai Equus. Hopefully the Kia will be less anonymous than that plain-looking sedan, and we’ll have a better understanding of how well the Koreans fit in a segment dominated by European competitors.
Photo courtesy of Kia