Kia to Build Kee Coupe as Toyota FT-86 Competitor?

Kia’s Kee concept, a slinky coupe shown at the 2008 Frankfurt motor show, may have a chance at reaching production. As Toyota and Subaru are inching closer to launching compact sports coupes of their own, Kia may be interested in playing within the same segment.

Peter Schreyer, Kia’s design director, told Autocar that the Kee wasn’t in the product plan for at least two years. He did say that he wants to add the car to Kia’s lineup to add strength and desirability to the brand.

“When you’re making cars like this, it’s important to make them with a great deal of confidence,” Schreyer told Autocar. “So I think the Kia brand has to grow a little more in stature before the time will be right for Kee."

Although the Kee concept was front-wheel-drive, Schreyer says he would back making a production version rear-wheel-drive.

“We would have to aim to rival the Mazda MX-5 and Toyota’s new rear-driven coupe,” Schreyer continued. “The car would not need to be very fast or powerful, but it should be compact, affordable, and fun -- a true sports car. Personally, I have to say I’m very excited by the idea, and very enthusiastic to make it happen.”

Still, in order for a production Kee to be given the green light, a strong business case must be made. Given that Hyundai is looking at building a similar car on the Accent’s platform, the Kee may retain the front-wheel-drive setup.

Schreyer says a production Kee could be seen in five years or so, so long as Kia’s growth continues at its current pace.

Source: Autocar

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