Kia unveils sporty concept car

* Rear-wheel-drive saloon * Could have V8 engine * Debut at Frankfurt motor show...

Kia unveils sporty concept car

Kia has released images of a sporty concept car that will make its debut at the Frankfurt motor show next month.

The car maker has confirmed that the four-door concept car has rear-wheel drive and four seats, but hasn't released any other details. Our sources suggest that a V8 engine is possible and that the basis for the car is a new luxury saloon that will be launched in the US next year.

There's no name for the concept car yet, but Kia says that it 'signals the company's distinctive new design direction'.

Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors' chief design officer, said: 'I believe the car is a strong statement from Kia: we are ready to fast-forward to an all new chapter.'

Kia concept car gallery

Elements of the concept car particularly the treatment of the side windows and rear pillar are similar to the Optima's, a four-door saloon that shares much with the Hyundai i40 and will be launched in the UK in early 2012.

The concept car has more dramatic styling, however, with a smooth front end that has a resemblance to the Aston Martin One-77's. There's an unusually-shaped windscreen, too, while the rear doors are rear-hinged.

Although a production version of the concept car is unlikely, Kia insiders recently told us that it intends to introduce a 'halo model' for the brand. The Frankfurt show car is expected to be followed by a similarly sporty model using the same underpinnings at the Detroit motor show in January 2012.