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Kia Launches RWD Sports Car Concept

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On: Wed, Aug 24, 2011 at 10:25AM | By: Chris Weiss

Kia Launches RWD Sports Car Concept

Well, as promised, Kia has announced its own sporty sedan concept. Unfortunately, the car looks like a cheap Korean-made knockoff of the million-dollar Aston Martin One-77. Not exactly the best way to announce that you've arrived in the serious performance car market. The four-door rear-wheeler will make its debut at next month's Frankfurt Motor Show. Kia provided a sneak peak last week.

Despite the fact that its pointed headlamps and vertical air intakes look ripped off and dumbed down from the One-77, some of the car isn't a bad effort. The car packs four seats and four doors into a flowing, extended-coupe profile. We're not too sure we can take the hood-mounted rear-views seriously on a Kia, however. And from what we can see of it, that flat-faced rear-end yells misfortune.

It is a concept, though, so the styling will get refined if and when Kia decides to produce it. More important is how the car is powered. Unfortuntely, Kia hasn't yet given the recipe. It's largely thought that the car will feature a V-8 engine driving the rear wheels. It will likely borrow a 4.6- or 5.0-liter Tau engine from the Hyundai Genesis, and utilize Hyundai's eight-speed automatic transmission.

The concept is meant to preview a new design direction at Kia. It's not clear if it will lead to a production version, though rumors indicate it could hit the Korean market next year with a U.S. debut in 2013.

Peter Schreyer, Kia’s chief design officer, said: "I believe the car is a strong statement from Kia: we are ready to fast forward to an all new chapter."

Last month, a rumor traced back to What Car? suggested that Kia will release two separate V-8 sports cars in a run-up to an eventual production car designed to give the brand a little flash and buzz. The first half of that rumor is now confirmed, and the second car is expected to debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in January.

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dwalter | 4:25PM (Wed, Aug 24, 2011)

look at those rims

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