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IAA 2011: Kia's RWD GT Concept Hints at Production Version [Updated Gallery]

    The all-new Kia GT Concept that will made its world premiere at the 64th IAA is the South Korean company's first ever attempt to create a rear-wheel drive model. It is also the most powerful thanks to a 3.3-liter turbocharged V6 engine that delivers an output of 390HP and 534 Nm (393.8 lb-ft) of torque that are sent to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic gearbox.

    Even though development of the concept began less than a year ago, in November 2010, Kia’s European design team has been considering a rear-wheel drive car for quite some time.

    The South Korean manufacture's chief designer Peter Schreyer explains: “This concept allows us to explore exciting new design directions, as using a rear-wheel drive layout creates very different proportions compared to a front-wheel drive car".

    "The classic front-engined, rear-wheel drive layout of a performance saloon has distinct appeal not just for the domestic Korean audience, but also for the European and American markets,” Schreyer added.

    According to Kia, the GT Concept draws inspiration from the 2007 Kee concept and the iconic GTs of the 1970s. Schreyer’s goal was to make sure that the GT’s proportions could not be mistaken for anything other than a rear-wheel drive performance saloon, that is why he pushed the front wheels as far front as he could, placed the cabin further back and created a short rear end.

    Now all this sounds to us like Kia is paving the way for a production version. Schreyer’s comments about the four-seater sedan reinforces this impression: “One of the great things about working on this project was that this is a very real car. It felt good to work on a car that could roll down the road tomorrow,” says Schreyer.

    So does this mean that Kia is actually mulling a production model? Schreyer certainly hopes so.

    “It would be a dream to put it into production," says Kia's head designer. "It has a logical layout, with four seats and good luggage space, and it’s also engaging and dynamic and makes a strong statement.”

    The last statement of the man who transformed Kia’s design is even more revealing about the chances of a production RWD saloon from Kia: “This is exactly the kind of car Kia should be making.”


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IAA 2011: Kia's RWD GT Concept Hints at Production Version [Updated Gallery]

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