• Mar 25th 2011 at 2:32PM
  • 51
Kia is seriously considering adding a two-seat droptop along the lines of Mazda's MX-5 to its portfolio. European CEO Paul Philpott has stated that the automaker will expand and enhance its volume offerings during 2011 and 2012, but that a roadster could be in the cards shortly thereafter.
Philpott is not alone in his desires for a Kia sports car. Peter Schreyer, Kia's Chief Designer, believes that the Korean automaker needs a truly sporty vehicle in the lineup (sorry, Forte Koup).

UK-based magazine Auto Express has put together a rendering of such a vehicle, and it clearly draws heavily from the Pontiac Solstice. However, it should be noted that the idea of a sports car in the lineup is not a totally foreign concept. From 1995 through 1999, Kia held licensing rights to the Lotus Elan and produced the Kia Elan for the Korean Market.

Kia is also reportedly working on a small, all-wheel-drive vehicle to slot below the Sportage. The Soul is due for a revamp within the next two years, so it makes sense that the funky hatchback could get all-wheel drive as part of its overhaul.

[Source: Auto Express]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      YAY for Competition! Bring it on Kia!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I would like to see an AWD variant of the Soul but I think Kia would also need beef up the HP figures for the AWD variant considering the additional hp loss through an AWD drivetrain.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's Peter Schreyer, not Paul Schreyer! And just to be 100% sure, it's also not Mary Schreyer.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Pretty lame, isn't it? No editors worth a salt lick, not to mention a pretty amateurish inability to merely copy & paste the correct names into their own publication.

        If I was in P.R., I'd offer to write the articles for these guys, if only to be sure that the names & facts were correct... the sad part is that I think there's probably a part of them that would be up for it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        To be super sure, it's not Schreyer Tuck or Washer and Schreyer.
      • 4 Years Ago
      well that's clearly a chop based on the Solstice as AB states. The chop artist barely changed a thing including the color and windshield frame. Peter Schreyer certainly has his sports car bona fides and won't need to draw on anything other than his more-than-ample design sense. I'm excited to see what he will do with a proper halo car. The Miata is certainly ripe for a competitor!
      • 4 Years Ago
      A comment from above: "why should a contemporary Kia be 70% the price of a Mazda? They are full competitors, and I'd actually give Kia a price premium for its styling.". Wrong - they are still Kia (bottom of the barrel). And another: "...Why do people think Kia is a bottom of the barrel product STILL?" (because they ARE!). And one more: "...it takes more than just a couple of years to repair a bad reputation." (truer words never spoken).

      And here's a question that no one can seem to answer; why are two-seaters considered impractical? "Impractical" is a relative term. A Miata, Corvette, Sky, Solstice, or the Kia above (if I were to consider ANYTHING from Korea) would be completely practical in my household.
        • 4 Years Ago
        in what way exactly is Kia in 2011 bottom of the barrel? In sales? No. In styling? No. In warranty claims or recalls? No. In reputation by people that refuse to keep up with the times? Perhaps.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Could a small roadster be made from the Genesis Coupe platform but start under $20K?
      Where else could they source a RWD platform?
      Or would they take the MR2/Fiero approach of using a FWD setup and flipping it around to the back?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I see a lot of Solstice in that rendering....
      • 4 Years Ago
      Just a heads up AB, the guy's name is PETER Schreyer, not Paul. Former Audi stylist.

      Having driven a loaded Forte (SX Koup 6MT) as well as a new Mazda 3s 2.5, I'd say the Kia is a minor cut below the Mazda for most everything.

      You can find my review of the Forte SX Koup here if you're curious - http://www.carthrottle.com/test-drive-kia-forte-sx-coupe-6mt/

      The Forte and 3s have similar power outputs but the Mazda's 2.5L motor is a lot smoother, and sounds less like a blender fighting a cement truck at high RPM

      the Forte has a much nicer shifter, better steering weight and feel

      ride is comparable- they both are pretty stiff but handle very well, nimble and tight turn-in

      the Kia's interior is a cut below the mazda in terms of quality and design, but the Mazda has some failures too - like the ridiculously tiny navigation screen.

      Still the Forte is a GREAT car, a fantastic value for money, and it turns heads in a way the Mazda can't

      anyway sorry for rambling, just my $0.02
        • 4 Years Ago
        You're absolutely correct, we were still thinking of Paul Philpott... fixed.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A small RWD roadster would be great, considering that Kia is supposed to be the "sporty" half of the Hyundai/Kia duo.

      But have you tried to "build you own" Kia on their website? If you want a loaded Rio, Soul, or Optima you can't have a manual transmission. How "sporty" is that?
      • 4 Years Ago
      A Miata fighter from Kia might force Mazda to do some engine upgrades to the current MX-5. I say this party because more power would be good for the MX-5 and because I was watching the coverage of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge from Homestead and one of the team principles from a team in the ST class that campaigns the MX-5 said that he felt the MX-5 was no longer the Mazda to have in that calss and that it had been outclassed by the MazdaSpeed 3 in terms of power output, and considering that the MX-5 teams are pushing 200 hp and are experiencing engine failures on a semi-regular basis, he may have a point. Why Mazda has not produced a MazdaSpeed version of the current NC chassis is beyond me. An aluminum block version of the MazdaSpeed 3 engine would make the car fly.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Must... stop... self... from liking... KIA.... gaaaah!
      If this looks anything as good as their latest line up it will be a winner. RWD please, AWD also OK.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If they put 50-60 more horsepower in it than the Miata i wouldnt complain.
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