If you doubted Kias confidence in taking on the more established European brands, then two new cars set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March should certainly change your mind.
Kia is entering the cut-throat hot hatchback market with the five-door Ceed GT and sportier three-door Pro_Ceed GT.
Using the turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine youll also find in Hyundais Veloster, both GT models push out 201 horses and a healthy 195 pounds-feet of torque. While thats no longer an output thatll worry class-leaders like the Ford Focus ST or Megane Renaultsport, it still gives Ceed buyers a brisker option than the current 1.6 petrol and diesel variants.
Kia says both will hit sixty in under eight seconds, and theres no flappy-paddle nonsense here - each will get a six-speed manual transmission, sure to please the purists.
As youd hope from a hot hatch, the Ceeds distinctive exterior enjoys a host of styling enhancements, ranging from 18-inch alloy wheels, to a sharply-styled body kit with a deep front bumper, mesh grilles, LED running lights and dual exhaust pipes at the rear.
Inside, the interior gains a pair of Recaro seats, while certain details are picked out in red to match the front splitter and the brake calipers.
Production begins mid-May, while UK sales are expected to start in the summer. The Geneva Motor Show starts in early March, so keep your eyes peeled on carwow for all the details when the model is unveiled.
Priced from: Not yet announced
On sale from: Summer (Pro_Ceed GT), end of the year (Ceed GT)
While lacking a little in outright power next to the big guys, the Ceed and Pro_Ceed GT models will surely attract those looking for a bargain hot hatch. Kia knows how to style its cars these days and the Pro_Ceed GT certainly looks the part - we just hope itll drive that way too.