Ever since Hyundai revealed the Genesis coupe, rumors have been flying about the possibility of Kia getting a similar car for its lineup (the 2007 Kia Kee concept is pictured and the new concepts will likely bear no resemblance to it), but it looks as though Kia wants to take it a step further. According to What Car?, Kia head Hank Lee admitted the need for something like a powerful, V-8 coupe, saying the company needs halo model to draw more customers into its showrooms. As the Genesis coupe has, a Kia sport coupe could provide a challenger for the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger, or it could also potentially be positioned to rival luxury sport coupes.
Kia’s recent renaissance has relied almost completely on efficient, four-cylinder engines in mainstream sedan and SUV models. But we hear that the Korean automaker is about to drop a couple of concepts that would make the Optima look rather pedestrian. Believe it: Kia may preview two V8-powered, rear-wheel-driven coupe concepts at Frankfurt and Detroit.
It is possible the Kia coupe concepts will be based off of the long-rumored, rear-drive K9 sedan that is expected to slot above the Optima in the Kia lineup. The K9, which is coincidently also supposed to debut at this year’s Frankfurt show, is expected to make its production debut sometime in 2012.
As for what’s powering the two new Kia coupe concepts, the likely answer is a version of the Tau V-8. While the Hyundai Genesis and Equus can be paired with either the 4.6 or the new direct-injected 5.0-liter version of the Tau, Kia has only used the 4.6-liter in the past under the hood of the Borrego SUV. Kia representatives told What Car? that the company will closely gauge reaction to the concepts to help determine the direction of any future production model.
While we won’t know more about the Kia coupe concepts until the runup to September’s Frankfurt and January’s Detroit shows, we want to know what you think of Kia’s rumored plans. Should a Kia V-8, rear-drive coupe take on Mustangs, Camaros and Challengers, or should it go in a different direction? How much horsepower should it make if they built one? Let us know in the comments below.
Source: What Car?