Kia is not a name that is readily associated with performance cars but it looks like the Korean manufacturer wants to change that perception with their pro_cee’d and cee’d GT.
Stepping into the hot hatch turf war may seem like a risky move but Kia are taking a slightly different approach. The pro_cee’d GT will be looking to find buyers who want all the show of a hot hatch but not necessarily all the go. By pegging the turbocharged 1.6-litre in the pro_cee’d GT at just 201bhp they carefully sidestep direct comparison with the established leaders of the class while also reducing the number of competitors.
With 201bhp and a 0-62mph time of 7.9 seconds the pro_cee’d GT is really aiming at the lower end of the hot hatch sector, going up against the likes of the Peugeot 308 GT, Vauxhall Astra SRi and Ford Focus Zetec S. The pro_cee’d GT will have slightly more power and will almost certainly be competitively priced but it will also have the advantage of Kia’s seven-year warranty, so it could make a very sensible buy if you’re paying for it yourself.
The pro_cee’d GT certainly looks every bit like a hot hatch with bright red brake calipers nestling behind 18-inch wheels, twin exhausts, flared bumpers, redesigned LED lights and a GTI-esque red strip running underneath the front grille. Inside are Recaro seats and a scattering of GT badges. If visual appeal is anything to go by the handsome 3-door pro_cee’d GT and more practical five-door cee’d GT could tempt buyers away from some of the establishment.
The pro_cee’d GT will go on sale this summer, followed later in the year by the cee’d, and will make its first public appearance at the Geneva Motor Show in March.