Kia rules out sporty off-roaders

Time 11:17 am, November 12, 2013

K_4364KIA has ruled out extending the performance range that debuted on the Pro Cee’d GT to its popular SUVs.

While premium manufacturers like BMW and Audi are dabbling with fruity engines in their off-road models, Kia product planners are not considering going down a similar route.

That means a cut-price rival to Audi’s new RSQ line or BMW’s M-badged X models won’t come in the shape of a Sportage or Sorento.

However, Chung-Yul Hwang, Kia executive vice president of product management is adamant sporty cars ARE the right thing for the brand – just not SUV versions.

‘We are looking at how to boost our sporty image further,’ he told Car Dealer. ‘It is the right direction for the brand to be taking and we are looking at all segments.

‘But we will never do a sporty SUV like Audi has with the RSQ models. We need to go down the sporty route for sure, it was the right one for us and we are exploring all avenues – but not an SUV one.’

Kia’s Pro C’eed GT has been well received by UK dealers and has received positive reviews in the press. UK buyers are particularly keen on performance variants and Kia is keen to give it to them too.

‘Kias need to be sporty and fun to drive and they are engineered that way,’ added Mr Hwang. ‘We try to do this with all our cars – sporty handling is, and always needs to be, a trait of Kias.’

Just apparently not for its SUV models…


James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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