Kia Readying GTI-, Focus ST-Fighting Pro_cee’d GT Hot Hatch

At the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, Kia took the wraps off its new Pro_cee’d, a two-door rival to the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, and Opel Astra. Now, the automaker is working on a hotter version to do battle with the Golf GTI, Focus ST, and Astra OPC.

Not much has been revealed about the Pro_cee’d GT – all Kia is telling us so far is that it will be powered by a turbocharged version of the brand’s 1.6-liter direct-injected I-4 mated to a six-speed manual. From the teaser sketch also released, we can see that the hatchback will be gaining an updated front fascia with additional LED running lights and a larger wheel and tire package.

2012 Kia Pro ceed rear three quarter 300x187 imageRight now, the most potent engine option in the Pro_cee’d – a Europe-only offering – is a naturally-aspirated 1.6-liter I-4 rated at 133 hp and 121 lb-ft of torque paired with either a six-speed manual or dual-clutch transmission.

We can only assume that the GT will use a turbocharged version of this mill, but the question is how much more power Kia will be able to milk out of the four-cylinder. At minimum, the Pro_cee’d GT would need 67 more horsepower over the standard car to be even with today’s 200-hp VW GTI; the Focus ST, Mazdaspeed3, and Astra OPC make much more power than that: the Ford is rated at 252 hp, the Mazda at 263 hp, and the Opel is good for 280 hp. That said, power is never the full story with hot hatches given that the GTI is one of the best-driving in the class despite its low horsepower rating.

Do you think a Kia hot hatch would provide good competition for the likes of the GTI, ST, Speed3, and OPC? How much power do you think the Pro_cee’d GT would need to be competitive with the hot hatch elite? Given that the 2013 Forte and the European Cee’d are closely related, do you think the Pro_cee’d GT would make a good addition to the Forte lineup? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Kia

By Donny Nordlicht

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