Back in March we showed you spy pics of a Kia cee'd dressed in performance paraphernalia. It was wearing an "XR" badge, which forecasted Kia's recent confirmation that over the next three years it will be introducing high-performance models under an XR sub-brand. The confirmation became apparent when Kia rolled out a cee'd XR last week at a press event in South Korea. The five-door hatch has been fitted with various aero enhancements, as well as larger wheels wearing lower profile tires. While the cee'd XR's engine was admittedly unaltered, Kia's people say they're investigating turbocharged engines for the Euro market and supercharged engine for the U.S. market.

Back in the day, Kia made it known that it wanted to be the performance brand to Hyundai's mainstream bread-and-butter image when it grew up. It appears that puberty may be over for the littler Korean brand that could, and the XR lineup could give Kia its own high-po hardware to square off against vehicles with badges like SRT, SS and WRX.

[Source: Autocar]


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