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No plans for major expansion of Kia’s GT range

Kia will not significantly expand its GT range of performance cars, according to its UK commercial director, Simon Hetherington.

Speaking at the launch of the Kia XCeed, Hetherington said: “The future of motoring in the UK is not all about 3.3-litre turbos… Cars account for 12% of emissions – we’ve got to take that on board.”

Kia’s energy is being directed at the electrification of its vehicles, with more plug-in hybrids, ‘self-charging’ hybrids and mild hybrids to come over the next 12 months, plus a fully electric version of the Soul.

Hetherington remained open to the prospect of Kia bringing out a performance-oriented electric car. But what does this mean for the future of engines like the Stinger GT S’s 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6? “High performance petrol engines absolutely have a role,” Hetherington said, “but from a volume point of view, they are not going to be a huge growth in the range. I think that kind of engine, that kind of technology, will increasingly be more specialist and relatively more expensive. That’s almost just a necessity. Every brand has to be taking steps to reduce its average carbon emissions.”

The good news for petrolheads is that, even in an era of great change for the automotive industry, according to Hetherington people still “want to engage emotionally with driving.” So perhaps there is a future for performance cars after all.

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