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Can Kia build a Honda Civic Si fighter?
Yesterday, Motor Trend’s Todd Lassa suggested that all the Kia Koup concept needs is a new name, a b-pillar, and it’s ready for production.
Based on the front-wheel drive Spectra platform, the Koup has the potential to become a Honda Civic Si competitor in the not-so-distant future.
The Kia Koup’s interior and exterior are fairly realistic which means that, with the exception of pieces like the 3-color seats and 19-inch wheels, we might see a similar package arriving in dealerships before long.
The concept is powered by the 2.0-liter Theta II turbocharged four with direct injection, producing 290 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque from 2000 to 4000 rpm. The concept has a six speed automatic with paddle shifters, but if (when?) this concept does make it to production, we hope to see a five or six speed manual as well.
Another hint Kia may be developing an inexpensive FWD sports coupe with elements from the Koup is the concept’s focus on safety features like having six airbags and a tire pressure monitoring system. The independent front suspension gets MacPherson struts while the rear suspension has a dual link setup.
If Kia can bring a quality Civic Si competitor under the Civic Si coupe’s $21,745 MSRP (including destination) with its five-year warranty, we think the company might have a winner on its hands. Granted, it has a long way to go before that happens, but it’s a possibility. Would you buy a toned-down production version of the Kia Koup? [Source: Motor Trend, March 21, 2008]