Kia previews first rear-wheel drive saloon

Updated: 

Kia has thrown us a couple of sketches of a car that will become its first ever rear-wheel drive saloon...

...but it's not coming to the UK.

By nature of being a big, rear-wheel drive four-door that could cost over £30,000 (it's possible to buy a 1.7-litre diesel Optima saloon for £26,000), this car would compete against Germany's big guns.

Well, that's what we'd all say, anyway, and no matter how great Kia's cars are these days (and they really are), Europe's probably not ready for a Korean saloon at proper German saloon prices.


Still, it's a bit of a shame, because it does look like it will be a fine motor. Based ostensibly on Frankfurt 2011's lovely jubbly GT Concept, this saloon will be all stylish and rakish in the tradition of most Kias these days. Sadly it won't get the GT Concept's rear-hinged back doors.

Talking on the press release accompanying these pictures, someone important from Kia in Korea that you've never heard of said: "Our all-new flagship sedan integrates all of our key capabilities such as design, performance, high-tech features and infotainment into one striking model.

"Although launch timings for those overseas markets it will go to are yet to be confirmed, this all-new rear-wheel drive large sedan will definitely become the leading model of our global line-up, showcasing the best of the best of Kia."

We do know that it's due this year, and that it probably won't be the recipient of a diesel engine. Instead, a 3.3-litre V6 is mooted, as is the 3.8-litre V6 from the Hyundai Genesis coupé, mated to an eight-speed torque convertor automatic. Slushy.