Kia confirms RWD "coupe-like" concept, powertrain updates

Kia has its bags packed for Germany, because the automaker is reportedly planning to unveil a new concept car at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. According to Ward's Auto, Kia officials aren't calling it a coupe, but state the car will have "coupe-like" styling. Does that mean the Korean automaker is taking aim at the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class and Audi A7? Judging by the styling direction of its latest vehicles – the Optima, namely – we wouldn't be surprised.

Mum's the word on this Kia concept, but the report suggests that it will have rear-wheel-drive architecture and slot in size between the Hyundai Genesis and Equus. Our best guess? This is further confirmation that the Kia K9 is getting ready to meet the world. The V8-powered, Peter Schreyer-designed four-door is expected to take the auto show stage in Germany, and we'll be there to bring you live photos if and when it does.

Besides word of a new model, Kia also has updates in store for its engines and transmissions. The 2.0-liter direct-injection four-cylinder unit making its way into the 2012 Soul is already being reworked. Engineers are squeezing more power while improving fuel efficiency thanks to a continuously variable valve timing system. Additionally, while automotive kissing cousin Hyundai is set to launch the Veloster with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission, Kia insiders say more gears are already on the immediate horizon. A seven-speed DCT isn't far behind the six, with launch estimates pegged at two years time.

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