Not for the first time, South Korean carmaker Kia will be showing a sports car concept at a major international motor show. It's been a mystery why these have never turned into production reality given the brand's 'younger, sportier' image over its stablemate Hyundai - which has the Coupe in its model line up.

But there is every indication that this time, the Sports Coupe Concept - being shown at next month's Frankfurt Show - will sometime soon take to the road.

While officially there is no comment, Paul Philpott, managing director at Kia UK, said: "The brand definitely needs a 'halo' product to drive it forward. I can't imagine, either, that we have a new designer who is going to stick to 'B' and 'C' sector models."

Especially when that is Peter Schreyer, the man recruited from Audi as Kia's new Chief Design Officer. "As well as being a sports car, there are also some clues to future Kia design - such as the 'nose'," added Philpott.

He was talking during the launch of Kia's new cee'd SW estate car in Croatia. He added: "We have some more product coming based on the cee'd including the pro_cee'd 3-door early next vear and there is also a small SUV on its way."

Kia plans to sell around 400 cee'd SW models in the UK before the end of the year and 1,000 plus in a full 12 months, according to product manager Amy Wand.

"We are keeping the model range simple with two engines - 1.6-litre petrol and diesel - and two trim grades," she added.

Prices range between £12,699 and £14,995 with premiums ranging between £700 and £1,000 for higher specification models.

Published : 22/08/07 Author : Melanie Carter

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