KIA has pulled the covers off its re-born ProCeed at the Paris motor show today, revealing a dramatic five-door shooting brake that retains much of the coupe design flair seen in concept drawings, with a bit more Kia Stinger mixed in.
Developed in and for Europe, the ProCeed is effectively a stylised and more ‘emotionally engaging’ version of the regular Ceed Sportswagon sold overseas.
The cars share underpinnings, but in bodywork terms only the bonnet and front quarter panels are common.
ProCeed is the longest and lowest vehicle in the Ceed model family with a silhouette reminscent of the Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake, though Kia says it is unlike anything in the mainstream family car segment.
A range of exclusively turbocharged drivetrains is offered in both GT and GT Line guises. The flagship GT is powered by a 150kW/265Nm 1.6-litre petrol four, an engine that has been used to good effect by Kia previously, and there’s a choice between a seven-speed DCT or six-speed manual gearbox.
But before you get too excited, unlike the last ProCeed GT that was sold in Australia until 2015, price concerns mean there’s little chance this new model will ever come to Oz.
“You’ve got to ship it across country, then get it on a boat, and if you’re only going to do it for one model it’s not worth it,” says Kia Australia communications manager Kevin Hepworth.
Price projections during the evaluation process had the ProCeed GT arriving in local dealerships with a price tag of more than $40,000, which Hepworth says is simply too expensive.
Moreover, the imminent arrival of the Cerato GT hatch and sedan, which share the same drivetrain as the ProCeed GT and have similar dynamic credentials, makes the new shooting brake too niche an offering for a viable business case in Australia.
As a product of Kia’s European operations, the ProCeed is designed, developed and engineered in Frankfurt, Germany, and manufactured in Slovakia. These days, Kia product sold in Australia is sourced exclusively from South Korea.
The ProCeed nameplate was formerly used on a range-topping three-door hatchback, but European sales of that inflexible form factor are collapsing, so a reinvention was necessary to keep the badge alive. In its new format the ProCeed has a 594-litre boot and a focus on usefulness with its form.
“Where the Ceed Sportswagon majors on practicality, the ProCeed provides couples or young families with the space and versatility of a wagon, combined with an emotive, swept-back design,” says Kia Europe COO Emilio Herrera.
“Where focusing on one of these normally compromises the other, the ProCeed is the first car in the mainstream segment to combine both.”
Independent rear suspension and input from Hyundai N boss Albert Biermann on the ProCeed’s unique ride and handling tune are yet more points in its favour, but failing a drastic shift in exchange rates, Kia’s attempt at a Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake will remain absent from our shores.
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