In the past few years, Kia’s success on the market has increased significantly with models like the SOUL and the Forte becoming leaders in their segment. Taking this under consideration, it’s no wonder that the Korean manufacturer is expanding their market - which as of now consists of coupes, sedans, crossovers, and SUVs - to include a small roadster. The Kia Roadster - name unknown - will set out to compete against one of the only lower end roadsters on the market: the Mazda MX-5.
The new Kia Roadster will weigh no more than 2200 lbs and will come with a rear wheel drive system. Engine specifications are not exact, but we should be getting about 200 HP out of a turbo petrol engine. About a year after the Kia debuts, we should also be seeing a Hyundai version of the same vehicle. Think along the lines of the relationship between the Toyota FT-86 and Scion FR-S.
The path has been set, but don’t expect this sporty model to show up anytime before 2013; building a model that will be "fun, dynamic and addressed to young buyers" will surely take some time.
Hit the jump to read more about the future Kia Roadster.
Rumors about Kia working on a competitor for the Mazda MX-5started spinning about six months ago, and we can’t say we’re all that surprised. Considering Kia’s latest sales boom in the market - with theKia Soul and all of its variations, the Kia Forte, and heck, even the Kia Sedona popping up everywhere in its minivan glory - the company is beginning to be as popular as the 2 for 1 sodas at your local gas station. Now the confirmation of the expansion of Kia’s lineup has finally been received in a recent interview with European CEO Paul Philpott.
"I’d like to have a Kia MX-5. 2011 and 2012 are about establishing the brand. But for 2013 and 2014, we’re thinking about halo models that stretch the company forward."
In describing the possible future sports roadster, chief designer Peter Schreyer said that it will get the company’s latest "tiger nose" grille, but will be more aggressive than the current models. We’re thinking something along the lines of the 2003 Kia KCV-III Concept (pictured above). The KCV-III was a 2+2 convertible coupe which debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show. It was designed for the Generation Y consumers and whose edgy and cool design should prove a good starting point for the future model.
Rumors suggest that Mazda will mostly likely be placing a 1.4 liter engine with an output of about 200 HP under the hood. This is the same engine that can be found in the MX-5, but we have reason to believe that a hybrid version of the Kia roadster is also a strong possibility.
Kia is preparing a rival for the Audi TT. A concept of the sports car will be unveiled at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show, and could hit production by 2009.
The new model has been codenamed Project Snowflake. This is a clear indication of Kia’s ambition; the TT project under Schreyer was known within Audi as Raindrop!
The new Kia will be a front-wheel drive, although a 4x4 version won’t be offered. It will use an all-new 2.0-litre turbo, which is being developed in conjunction with Hyundai (...)