Kia GT4 Stinger

Kia debuted this GT4 Stinger concept at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The car is a rear-wheel-drive coupe powered by a 315-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. (Kia)

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With high performance a major theme of the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, Kia threw its hat into the go-fast ring Monday by debuting the GT4 Stinger Concept.

The tidy, rear-wheel-drive sports coupe boasts a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and quirky styling that could tease the look of future Kia products.

“It’s an authentic 2+2 sports car that can turn heads as a daily driver while also being right at home on the track,” said Tom Kearns, chief designer at Kia Design Center America. “It’s about purity, simplicity and timelessness.”

PHOTOS: Kia's GT4 Stinger concept

The GT4 Stinger concept is powered by a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 315 horsepower. Power flows through a six-speed manual transmission to 20-inch rear wheels that are wrapped around 15-inch Brembo brake calipers.

Weight has been kept low at just under 2,900 pounds for this 2+2 coupe (two main seats and two smaller seats in the back). The car was designed in Kia’s Irvine, Calif. studio.

Kia says it currently has no plans to put this concept into production, stating only that “the GT4 Stinger provides a possible and highly provocative glimpse into Kia’s future.”

PHOTOS: Highlights from the 2014 Detroit Auto Show

Yet the pieces are all there in the corporate parts bin Kia shares with its sister Korean brand, Hyundai. Grab the rear-wheel-drive platform that underpins the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, and retune that car’s 274-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and you have an excellent starting point for Kia to get into the performance car realm for the first time.

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