Exclusive: Kia - A sports car is missing from our range

Kia UK president Paul Philpott
A sports car is missing from the Kia range but it can only happen when the timing is right believes the firm's UK president.

There's also scope for a Nisan Juke rival and a premium B-segment car to take on the likes of the Mini, Fiat 500 and Vauxhall Adam, he said.

"Our brand is becoming more youthful and dynamic,' Paul Philpott, KIa Motors UK president, told Autoblog. "I think we need some high performance models in our range – and the Pro Cee'd cries out for one of those.

"I think the other territories that are interesting are the B SUV – Juke has clearly created another sub-segment there. And a premium B-segment car, like the DS range and Mini, makes for an interesting proposition. But we have to get them right on a global level."

Philpott admitted that historically it would have been tough for Kia to produce a "premium" small car, but he said as the perceptions of the brand change, so do the opportunities.

"Who could of thought a few years ago that we would have a highly-aspirational SUV like Sportage? Well, we have. People are part exchanging X3s and Mercedes C Class cars for a Sportage. Could you have believed that five years ago?

"So can we do anything? Well, if the timing is right, then yes. I've always admired the way Mazda brought sports cars into their range. They might be having a tough time right now but I think if we are to be a youthful, sporty, dynamic brand, then at some stage we need a dedicated sports car too."

Philpott ruled out a rebadged version of the Veloster in the Kia range, but said the platform is one that could be used.

"Really it needs to be more sports coupe," he said. "We showed the GT at Frankfurt (pictured below) and that got great reviews. The next challenge for Kia is stretching people's perceptions even further and a car like that would do it."

Kia GT