Kia never used to be a topic of note on Petrol News, but 2017’s Stinger changed all that and the Korean car maker is heating things up again after unveiling a new high-performance hatchback.
Designed, developed, engineered, and built in Europe, the new Ceed GT uses a powerful 1.6-litre T-GDi engine that produces 201bhp and 265Nm of torque.
The result is the most accomplished and fun-to-drive Ceed yet, at least that’s what Kia says and why would they lie?
We don’t know exactly how quick the Ceed GT is, but it’ll be nippier than the 1.4-litre petrol manual, which offers the Ceed’s shortest 0-62mph sprint right now (8.9 seconds).
Compared to the standard Ceed, the GT sits 5mm lower, reducing the centre of gravity for a more engaged driver experience. Elsewhere, its stiffer front and rear springs reduce body roll, improve responses to steering input and give the car a firmer, more assured ride in all conditions.
Aesthetically, the Ceed GT sets itself apart from the regular Ceed with a sporty exterior design.
That means it comes with a new front bumper design with larger air intakes and gloss black trim, as well as a small roof spoiler, Kia’s four-lamp ‘ice-cube’ LED daytime running lights and an adapted tiger-nose grille with a dark chrome surround and a subtle ‘GT’ logo.
Additionally, red highlights jazz up the honeycomb grille, while inside, front passengers get Kia’s new black leather sports seats, created exclusively for the model with larger, firmer side and thigh bolsters.
The car will be offered in eight paint finishes and sit on unique 18-inch alloy wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres, enabling higher cornering velocity and traction.
For the first time in a performance hatchback from Kia, an optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission will be available, in addition to the standard six-speed manual gearbox.
Practicality hasn’t been neglected in spite of the GT’s focus on performance, with the Ceed GT offering the same large 395-litre boot as the standard hatch.
Emilio Herrera, chief operating officer for Kia Motors Europe, acknowledged that the brand has come a long way since its original GT cars.
“Our first GT models laid a blueprint for Kia’s future performance cars and proved there was a genuine appetite for faster and more engaging “drivers’ cars” from Kia,” he commented.
“The all-new Ceed GT occupies a unique position in the mid-size family car segment, and doesn’t simply chase the highest top speed or fastest straight-line acceleration. It offers greater agility and grip on winding roads, maximum confidence and comfort at a cruise, and fast-revving turbocharged power perfectly matched to European tastes.”
The Ceed GT will enter production alongside the ProCeed GT in November at Kia’s Žilina production facility in Slovakia.
Stephen Hasley, brand manager at Petrol News, comments: “Kia has gone from strength to strength in recent years and this new Ceed GT is another reason why everyone should be taking Kia as a force to be reckoned with.”
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