We first saw the Kia GT at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show as a concept, and immediately we started getting reports suggesting that Kia was planning to build a production version. None of those reports ever amounted to anything, but now Kia executives confirmed with Edmunds at the 2014 Frankfurt Motor Show that the GT Concept is, in fact, headed to production.

Oh, it will also come to the U.S. where it’s scheduled to arrive as a 2017 model.

The GT is being prepared as a four-door fastback model that will be slotted in the premium luxury sedan segment. That means going head to head with the Audi A7, the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo, and the Porsche Panamera. That is some stiff competition for the Korean maker to target.

Kia has refused to give out any details about the production GT - it doesn’t even have a name yet - but the company expects it to become a compelling new option in a segment that has no shortage of ‘compelling’ models. With design touches like rearward opening "suicide doors" it’s unlikely that we’ll see all of the styling details on the concept make it to the production model, but it still be a visual stunner regardless.

As far as power goes, the GT Concept had a 3.3-liter turbocharged V-6 engine under its hood that produced 390 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque. To compete in this class, Kia needs that level of horsepower, but expect the turbo six to be dropped in favor of the family 5.0-liter V-8 from the K900.

Click past the jump to read more about Kia GT.

Why It Matters

Kia’s plans to build a production version of the GT Concept make a lot of sense. The K900 already has its hands full with the Audi A8 and the BMW 7 Series, and below that the Cadenza takes on the likes of the Chrysler 300C and the Audi A4. Slotting a model between the two is a smart business move if Kia hopes to keep improving its brand image and luxury credentials.

I’m still not certain how popular the production GT is going to be since it’s entering a very competitive segment. But the mere assertion that Kia’s willing to try it speaks to the level of gains the Korean automaker has made in terms of sales and public perception. This isn’t the old Kia anymore.

Put the gloves on and let’s get ready for an all-out brawl.

Kia GT

2011 Kia GT Concept Exterior
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The Kia GT Concept turned a lot of heads at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show. It proved that the small Korean brand was ready to step out from its econo-car roots and be taken seriously as an honest competitor to the big names from Japan, Germany and the U.S.

The GT Concept was a stunning prototype in 2011 and the design is still surprisingly fresh. It had a number of features that you could trace back to aeronautics, including the low slung front air intake, jet-themed rear-view cameras, the winglets that curve in from the front flanks and flow into the headlamps, and the multi-piece propeller-style alloy and carbon fiber wheels.

On top of that, the GT Concept also had a significantly powerful 3.3-liter V-6 engine that produced 390 horsepower and 394 lb/ft of torque while mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Kia didn’t release any performance numbers but we assumed that it could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in a little under seven seconds to go with a top speed of 155 mph.

Source: Edmunds

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