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Can the first ever Kia hot hatch stand up to a Golf GTI?

Can the first ever Kia hot hatch stand up to a Golf GTI?

Dejan Jovanovic 2 months ago
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The Koreans are getting pretty serious about hot-hatchery, and the new 2019 Kia Ceed GT worth 201 horsepower is further proof

It’s not like we needed any more convincing – Hyundai has done the job well with the new i30 N honed at the Nürburgring Nordschleife with development led by former BMW M boss Albert Biermann. It’s the first Korean hot hatch to truly stand up to the establishment and competitively go head to head with the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Renault Megane RS, and the rest.

Now Hyundai’s sister brand Kia wants to shake things up too, which is where the new 2019 Kia Ceed GT comes in, otherwise also known as the Kia Cerato in our Middle East markets.

2019 kia ceed cerato uae

Designed, engineered and built in Europe, the car will make its official public premiere next month at the Paris motor show, packing a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 201 horsepower and 265Nm of torque.

Currently Kia Middle East only offers the four-door saloon body style in the UAE priced from around AED60,000 and rated at 126 horsepower. Next year however the 2019 Ceed GT will go on sale with a seven-year warranty and a seven-speed double-clutch automatic transmission, not to mention a healthy power hike. Unfortunately, the Koreans say this car is strictly for the Europeans so sadly it seems we in the UAE won’t get to test Kia’s claims.

The company promises the most fun-to-drive hatch they’ve ever built, which is not all that hard to accomplish seeing as there’s never been a proper hot hatch from the manufacturer until now. That twin-clutch ‘box, for example, is available in a Kia hatchback for the first time, and the Ceed GT additionally stands out with a unique bumper, larger air intakes, a bunch of gloss black trim, plenty of LEDs and standard 18-inch wheels. Compared to the stock car the Ceed GT sits 5mm lower, and the look is completed with a subtle roof spoiler and faux rear diffuser.

2019 kia ceed cerato uae 2

There are neat improvements to the interior too, with better quality surfaces, leather and suede body-hugging seats, some aluminium pedals and a pointless squared-off steering wheel. At the direction of Biermann, the Ceed GT underwent six months of additional testing over the standard Ceed/Cerato, to sort out the handling and driver involvement. As such you get a slightly stiffer suspension in this car, improved steering response, and a stability control program that includes torque vectoring. Stopping power comes from 320mm front discs (up from the standard car’s 288mm), and grip is courtesy of some sporty Michelin tyres.

All that, and Kia doesn’t even reveal the performance specifications, but going by the related Hyundai Elantra GT Sport we can assume the new 2019 Kia Ceed GT can go from zero to 100km/h in under seven seconds and top out at over 210km/h.

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