Here are the carmakers you might expect to field competition to the BMW 3 Series:
Each of those automakers builds a vehicle that could be considered a sports sedan, and each has its own selling points and unique qualities when compared with BMW’s venerable sedan.
Other brands might like to get into the sports sedan game, but just don’t have the heritage to build a world-class competitor that would be taken seriously.
So a Kia entry in the sports sedan market would seem to have a snowman’s chance in summer, right?
Reuters is a respected news organization that doesn’t often publish rumors. Its automotive stories are thoroughly fact-checked and often report on high-level happenings in the industry.
This time, though, Reuters is stirring the rumor mill with news of a previously unheard-of Kia sports sedan that is going by the codename “CK.”
Citing “two people with direct knowledge of the matter,” the news agency claims that the sedan will arrive next year. There are also mentions of a rear-wheel drivetrain and a desire to go up against German competition from BMW, Audi, and Mercedes.
This is startling news.
Startling news, though, has become common from the Korean automaker. Within just a couple of decades from its humble beginnings, Hyundai/Kia has progressed from entry-level laughing stock to world-class luxury. Would anyone have guessed that Hyundai would spin off a luxury brand and attempt to compete with the world’s best sedans?
Maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Kia would want to go after the performance cars.
The move signals a shift in Kia’s image as the company looks to shed some of its economy car eminence for higher levels of sportiness and luxury, though changing public perceptions isn’t always as easy. The “CK” could also receive some pushback from within the Hyundai corporate structure as well, as the recently spun-off Genesis brand is expected to include a sportier model (or models) to complement the new G90 flagship and future G80 sedans.
It should be noted that even the high-end luxury carmakers have trouble competing with the 3 Series. If Kia is to succeed, it will need to make a sports sedan that holds its own in driving tests against the BMW and comes in at a price that can’t be ignored.
Would you be interested in a Kia sports sedan?