Production Version of Kia GT Spied (plus Speculations)

Picture from Motorgraph (which has incredible in-depth reviews. They’re in Korean, but sometimes they have English subtitles).

That’s right, you are looking at a RWD Kia that will be on the market within a year. The Concept was shown back in 2011, so don’t be too surprised when they reveal the pre-production car this Fall. It’s got the sloping roofline, quad exhaust ends, front vent, and bulging fenders we would expect in a sports sedan.

Keep in mind Im speculating as a decently hardcore GHK (Genesis-Hyundai-Kia) enthusiast from here.

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*Edit: I mentioned the 3.3L but it would be the 3.8L V6 used for RWD vehicles that would in this sedan (just woke up, brah). Updated accordingly.

Photo from Kia

Do not expect this vehicle to get the 420 hp Tau V8 from the K900 since Hyundai discontinued that engine in the Genesis Sedan for this model year and may be reworking it for performance applications suited to the Genesis Brand’s lineup (think Lexus F and their 5.0L V8). Expect to see this upcoming Kia sports sedan with a 2.0T 4-cyl making around 245 hp and 260lb-ft. Also don’t be surprised when the ubiquitous 311hp 3.8L V6 shows up as well. The real questions is when will this vehicle get the new TTV6? Hopefully at launch that way the 3.8L isnt even considered. Im expecting to see it the new turbo V6 engine in the 330hp range while the N division may have a tune closer to 380hp for Genesis eventually.

My biggest question is what will the transmission be? Unfortunately, looking at the expected engines pretty much makes the new in-house developed 8-speed torque converter a given and the only transmission that will be available. Now that’s great in terms of acceleration, comfort, and fuel economy (that 3.8l V6 will likely average 23 mpg with that transmission if paired) but it isn’t going to be as responsive as anyone hopes. Good tuning and a manual mode that let’s you hold revs can go a long way though. Maybe in the future, the new DCT in the 1.6T equipped cars (Sonata Eco, Tucson Eco) will be beefed up to handle more torque and we’ll see a version that can handle 300lb-ft and another that can take on 400lb-ft.

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The most important thing though is this should be Kia’s first AWD car! Between the entirety of GHK there is only ONE variant of ONE passenger car available with AWD in the US. Canada still has their Canada-Spec 2015 MY Genesis Sedan on sale right now, so the V8 w/ HTRAC is available to them. But seriously, even including the crossovers, AWD vehicles are rare!

I don’t expect much from the steering. For whatever reason, steering racks are the least important thing to the Hyundai Group. Theyll put in the work on chassis, drivetrain, and suspension but then just let the steering be the same as an Elantra, hoping all the other changes (and adjustable steering feel button) handle most complaints. Sad truth, but all brands have weaknesses.

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I’m calling this now, the Kia GT is sized between a 3-series and a 5-series or rather between a 4-Series Gran Coupe and a 6-Series Gran Coupe if keeping to bodystyles.

Let’s figure out US pricing now.

Photo from Kia
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A 240hp, 428i Gran Coupe starts at $41,650. For xDrive it will be $43,650.

A 300hp, 435i Gran Coupe starts at $47,950. For xDrive it will be $49,950.

The new V6 Kia Cadenza will start around $33,000 and the current V6 Genesis sedan starts at $38,750.

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The easiest way to think of this vehicle’s character and performance (from a US standpoint) is as a Chrysler 300 S that feels smaller. That sport version model starts at $35,595 with the V6 and gets 31 mpg on the highway. It’s $38,095 for the AWD version with the same 300hp V6 and $38,595 for the RWD-only 5.7L V8 making 363 hp.

As you can see, this is a tight spot to try and park inside while still being able to open the doors and get outside the box! Well, the new Cadenza should be getting a turbo 4-cyl variant which will bring the starting price down into the $28k range. That allows the Kia GT to start around $34k without appearing to be the obvious choice. Hopefully the use of the GT’s styling and layout will appeal over the similar feature content of a Buick Lacrosse, and the warranty and modernity will appeal over the similar performance content of a Chrysler 300.

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So let’s say all together the Kia GT line up looks something like this:

GT 2.0T (245 hp) - $34,000

GT 2.0T AWD (245 hp) - $36,000

GT 3.8L (311hp) - $36,500 *Hopefully they won’t offer this EVER*

GT 3.0T (330hp) - $38,000

GT 3.0T AWD (330hp) - $40,000

This is all just me speculating, so don’t take this stuff to heart. Pretty much, they are making a 4-Series Gran Coupe LWB for the price of a Volkswagen CC. Thus, just like the first generation Genesis Sedan, the Chrysler 300 is its biggest competitor but few will place these in a head-to-head comparison.

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While looking at this, the rebranded Genesis G80 will probably be right on that 4-series GC’s $41k to $50k price points all day. Meaning the new Genesis brand carries a $4,000 badge premium. Neat! Once again though, all this is me just goofing around because I just woke up and BOOM! RWD Kia and it’s not even my birthday.

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