Kia Plots Toyota GT86 Rival

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Kia has reportedly built a model of a two-seat RWD coupe, and hopes to make the Soul its Mini or Beetle equivalent.

Toyota's winning formula in the form of the GT86 was one that carmakers would inevitably attempt to recreate, and if the latest rumor is to be believed, Kia will be the first to bring out a rival model. British publication "What Car?" reports that Kia has started work on a two-seat challenger to the Toyota GT86, Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ. US design chief Tom Kearns spoke with the magazine, saying: "We have made a model of an affordable, two-seat, rear-wheel-drive coupe." Insiders are hopeful a halo sports car will give Kia some much needed charisma.

This backs up previous rumblings about a rear-drive Kia coupe, which the Korean automaker said it would be showcasing in a succession of concepts at major auto shows to gauge public opinion. So far the only such concept we've seen is the Kia GT concept revealed at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, so perhaps something will be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Kearns also admitted the carmaker wants the Soul to become Kia's "Mini or Beetle" and could potentially spawn a family of models. A soft-top variant previewed by the Soulster concept, as well as a sporty two-seater and pickup version, are all under consideration.

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