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No performance division planned at Kia

While Hyundai is in the process of revving up its N performance division, at the Korean automaking giant’s sister company Kia it’s a different story. The same company that has recently produced the Kia Stinger sport sedan is saying it will not lead to a sub-brand of performance models.

Albert Biermann, head of high performance for Hyundai-Kia, recently told Autocar magazine that the decision had been made that Kia would not follow in Hyundai’s footsteps in this regard. He did mention that several Kia models would be produced in GT versions focused more on sportiness than raw performance.

Of course, that is a fine distinction, and we’re not talking about forsaking the latter element altogether – performance is everywhere now.

The decision to go a different route with Kia was based on cost considerations, in the words of the automotive executive.

“… the minute you go high-performance, you need to work at a race track, and then the costs go up and the business case gets very challenging. Doing that next step is not easy.”

- Albert Biermann

Still, Kia is aware of the need to provide its roducts with performance and sports-car chops, and the company is promising that future models from the brand would deliver a more dynamic experience to drivers. Here’s hoping that the future GT-branded models do more than just sport esthetic flourishes like black wheels and accents, but benefit from adjustments that enhance the way the vehicles behave on the road.

The next edition of the Optima has already been earmarked for the GT treatment; it’s expected that version of the sedan will get mechanical and suspension-system adjustments.