2011 Los Angeles Auto Show: Kia GT Concept Debut

By Jacob Brown | November 10, 2011
What's New Kia’s no one-trick pony. After finally breaking through with the 2011 Kia Optima sedan, the Korean brand is following up with a concept that lets the world know it means business. For an encore, the rear-wheel-drive Kia GT Concept sports sedan squares up nicely as a proposal to go a step above the mainstream and chase the four-door coupe segment. Mimicking the fastback lines of high-end sports cars, the Kia GT is the first full-size sedan proposal for the U.S. to see that comes from lead designer Peter Schreyer’s school of design—the same design philosophy that has inspired the Optima and subcompact Rio. Consider it a sign of things to come. Who It's For Debuting at the Frankfurt Motor Show earlier this year, the Kia GT has finally made it to the U.S. and if it makes it to production, looks to be a formidable competitor to the slew of midsize and large sports sedans from Europe and Asia. Primarily, the Infiniti G37, Dodge Charger, and Volkswagen CC come to mind. With slick styling, copper-colored glass and accents on the outside of the car, and an evolution of Kia’s “tiger nose” front-end treatment, the Kia GT may very well be the car that brings the Kia brand upmarket. Key Features Beyond its knock-out styling on a rear-wheel-drive sports sedan platform, the Kia GT also features:
  • A 395-horsepower, turbocharged version of the brand’s 3.3-liter V-6 engine, paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
  • LED headlights and tail lights.
  • Suicide rear doors that open up to the Kia GT’s roomy four-seater cockpit.
  • A design that Peter Schreyer says feels like a real car and could inspire future products.
What We Think Excluding the fact that this car would likely be similar in concept to an Aston Martin Rapide at 80 percent off, we’re eager to see what the final product would look like—if there’s a final product. Kia already sells an elegant full-size sedan called the K7 in Korea that slots above our Optima (called the K5 over there). Rumors have persisted for a while that Kia was planning to introduce a sporty, rear-wheel drive sedan, too, supposedly called (creatively enough) the K9. Could the Kia GT be the precursor to the production version of that car? Possibly. Is it more likely that the smooth lines will make their way to future Kia products as they evolve and further diverge from parent company Hyundai? More likely. Either way, Kia has a hit on its hands with the GT Concept. Whether or not the company builds it remains to be seen. We’d love to see it in showrooms if Kia did go forward with it, though.