Warm hatch duo for Korea and Europe surface, but where does the K3 GT fit?
Overnight, Kia unveiled the new Kia Ceed GT in Europe, as well as the Kia K3 GT for the South Korean market. These cars preview the powertrain likely to feature in next year’s Cerato GT.
Under the bonnet, the Ceed GT and K3 GT are powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre direct-injection four-cylinder engine, which generates 150kW of power at 6000rpm, and 265Nm of torque between the 1500 and 4500rpm.
The Ceed GT has new exhaust flaps are said to generate a better exhaust note, while an electronic sound generator brings more engine noise into the cabin.
In Europe the Ceed GT is available with either a standard six-speed manual or an option seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, but the K3 GT is only specified with the dual-clutch gearbox. No performance figures are yet available yet, but the same engine is already used in the Hyundai i30 SR and Elantra SR.
Kia has cut the Ceed GT’s ride height by 5mm, and fitted the car with standard Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres around 18-inch alloy wheels with a red centre cap. The car’s calipers are also finished in red, and the size of the ventilated front discs have been upped to 320mm.
The company has also retuned the stability control setup with keen drivers in mind, and added torque vectoring by braking.
Visually the GT is differentiated from lesser Ceed models thanks to a raft of styling changes. At the front there’s a tiger nose grille with a honeycomb insert incorporating red highlights and GT badging, as well as a new bumper with larger intakes and glossy black highlights.
Along the sides the GT features fuller sills finished in red and gloss black. At the back the warm hatch has a small roof spoiler, and wears unique bumpers with a diffuser finished in, you guessed it, gloss black.
The cabin gains grippier front seats clad in leather and suede. There’s also red stitching on the seats, leather steering wheel, gear shifter, and door trim.
Other changes include black roof liner, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, aluminium pedals, and metal shift paddles for cars equipped with the dual-clutch transmission.
The Ceed GT will be built at the company’s factory in Slovakia, and the company’s European arm says it will be “available exclusively to European drivers”. Sales begin in Europe during the first quarter of 2019.
While the Ceed GT and K3 GT seem to share the same mechanical setup, the made-in-South Korea model does differ in many ways from its European cousin. It is also first time we’ve seen the new generation K3 hatch.
The K3 GT has a slightly fussier front fascia treatment, fewer red highlights all around, and less prominent side sills.
Aft of the C-pillars are where the rear differences kick in, with the K3 hatch sporting a different rear quarter light, unique tail-lights, rear hatch, bumpers, and other body work for a more fastback-style look.
As we reported earlier this year, Kia Australia is planning to add heated up versions of the Cerato sedan and hatch to the local lineup by the beginning of 2019.
Given the current-generation Cerato sedan sold in Australia hails from South Korea, it’s possible the just-unveiled K3 GT previews both the new Cerato hatch and the warmed over variant.
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