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First look: Kia turns the Kee

Turn-key: Will the Kia Kee become a production car to woo the masses?

Kia gets serious by presenting a compact V6 coupe for the masses at Frankfurt

13 Sep 2007

YOU know an aspiring car-maker is serious when it presents a four-seater sports coupe concept emblazoned with its new corporate design language, and that is precisely what Kia has done with its two-door Kee at this week's Frankfurt motor show.

However, South Korea’s Hyundai subsidiary is not serious enough, it seems, to reveal the most sought-after detail of its first ever coupe, as the official press release fails to confirm whether the 4324mm-long Kee show car is also, as expected, Kia’s first rear-drive vehicle.

At least we know the four-seater concept is powered by a new 150kW 2.0-litre petrol V6, mated to a six-speed auto.

Equally as significant as the prospect of a mass-market V6 coupe from Kia, however, is the bold new styling direction its latest concept previews.

Riding on obligatory 20-inch alloys and featuring LED front lighting clusters, the Kee also presents realistic production elements like a bold, heavily sculpted front-end that's echoed at the rear, where a preposterously narrow rear screen and twin central exhaust outlets also reside.

17 center imageLeft: Kia Kee (top) Eco-cee'd (centre) and Pro-cee'd three door. “The new Kia Kee is a clear and emphatic statement that the future of the Kia brand is set to be one that will excite and surprise an entirely new audience of consumers,” said Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors’ chief design officer.

“In making this design departure for Kia it was essential to my thinking that we did not lose sight of the fact that the Kia brand must continue to appeal to customers in the mainstream.

“It would have been easy to present an extreme supercar at Frankfurt that would attract plenty of attention, but could have no place in Kia’s future. Our sports coupe concept is not simply a flight of fancy but represents an affordable dream for sports car lovers.” Two other Kias made their world debuts at Frankfurt: the three-door Pro-cee’d small car and its Eco-cee’d sibling.

Kia says the production Pro-cee’d three-door offers best-in-class luggage capacity of 340 litres with the rear seats up, and comes with a lower, more aggressive bodykit than the five-door already revealed.

It features a longer, wider front bumper with larger foglights and air-intake, a shallower grille, new headlights and 276mm-longer doors. The Pro-cee’d range goes on sale in Europe early next year but won't be seen here for at least two years.

Finally, the Eco-cee’d is described as the ‘green-performance’ concept car and is based on the three-door Pro-cee’d hatch, powered by an 85kW 1.6-litre diesel engine that meets strict Euro5 emissions requirements from 2011 in Europe.

Apart from employing diesel power, the Eco-cee’d has a more aerodynamic drag co-efficient of 0.29Cd and features Kia’s new Idle Stop&Go and Regenerative Braking systems to improve the Kia hatch’s fuel consumption to just 3.9L/100km and CO2 emissions to just 104g/km.

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