Following the all-new Kia Ceed’s reveal, the Korean company has been caught working on the more potent GT version.
This time, we caught a prototype without the heavy plastic covers on the front while testing in the Austraian Alps.
The faster derivative of the Kia Ceed is reportedly being developed by the same team that created the hot Hyundai i30 N. This will include some high-speed testing at the Nurburgring in a bid to give the new Ceed GT a more fun-to-drive character than its predecessor.
Albert Biermann’s team will make sure that the new Ceed GT will offer a similar handling character with the i30 N, but it will not be as focused as its cousin.
The biggest question to be answered is what sort of engine the new Ceed GT will use. Given the company’s will to keep a distance between the fast Kia and the more aggressive Hyundai i30 N, the Korean hatch will most likely offer around 200hp instead of the i30 N’s 271hp.
That could come from either a detuned version of the turbocharged 2.0-liter petrol unit found in the hot Hyundai or from the company’s smaller 1.6-liter turbo. Some reports even suggest the use of a mild-hybrid 48-volt powertrain.
The test car you see in the spy shots might be camouflaged, but details of the sportier bodykit like the bigger alloy wheels, the deeper side sills with red detailing and parts of the new bumper design spill the beans. The twin exhaust pipes with their trapezoidal tips and the covered roof spoiler are further proof.
The more forgiving character of the Kia Ceed GT will allow it to rival more rounded hot hatches in the segment, including the VW Golf GTI, leaving hardcore -and faster- players like the Renault Megane RS to deal with the Hyundai i30 N directly.
Expect the new Kia Ceed GT to be revealed sometime in late 2018, with a market launch set for early 2019, so stay tuned.
*Article updated with new photos and information