Not for the first time, South Korean car maker and Hyundai Motor affiliate Kia will be showing a sports car concept at a major international motor show.

But there is every indication that this time, the sports coupé concept - being shown at next month's Frankfurt show - will sometime soon take to the road.

It's been a mystery why similar previous Kia concepts have turned into production reality given the brand's 'younger, sportier' image over its stablemate Hyundai - which has the well-accepted Coupé in its model line up.

While officially there is no comment, Paul Philpott, managing director at Kia UK, said: "The brand definitely needs a 'halo' product to drive it forward. I can't imagine, either, that we have a new designer who is going to stick to 'B' and 'C' sector models."

Especially when that is Peter Schreyer, the man recruited from Audi as Kia's new chief design officer.

"As well as being a sports car, there are also some clues to future Kia design - such as the 'nose'," added Philpott.

Speaking during the launch of Kia's new Ceed SW estate car (wagon) variant in Croatia, he added: "We have some more product coming based on the Ceed, including the Proceed three-door early next year, and there is also a small SUV on its way."

Kia plans to sell around 400 Ceed SW models in the UK before the end of the year and over 1,000 in a full year, according to product manager Amy Wand.

"We are keeping the model range simple with two engines - 1.6-litre petrol and diesel - and two trim grades," she added.

UK prices range between GBP12,699 (about $US26,000) and GBP14,995 plus between GBP700 and GBP1,000 for higher specification models.

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