Kia is forging ahead with plans to build a rival to the Volkswagen Golf GTI, complete with a turbocharged engine and class-leading driving dynamics.
The new car will be part of Kia’s effort to differentiate itself from Hyundai by focusing on performance and excitement. The GTI rival will likely be based on the well-received Cee’d, which is sold in Europe and other markets. Power will come from the Optima Turbo’s 2.0L 4-cylinder, although the engine could be detuned from the 274 horsepower it currently makes to around 230 horsepower.
Kia also confirmed that their new convertible will hit production in 2014, but that it will be based on the Soul, and thus front-wheel drive, rather than a rear-drive rival to the Mazda MX-5.