A decade ago, if anyone told you that Kia was preparing a hot hatch to rival the Golf GTI, you'd have told them to go straight home and take the correct medication.

But given the massive strides made by the Koreans in recent times, it's actually surprising that it's taken until now for a true hot-hatch to emerge from the Hyundai-Kia stable.

Kia has just released the first pictures of its Pro_cee'd GT ahead of its first public debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

It's powered by a 1.6-litre direct injection turbopetrol engine, which puts out 150kW and 265Nm. So it falls slightly shy of the GTI's 155kW/280Nm outputs, not to mention the Focus ST's 184kW figure, but the Kia is likely to make up for this with a more attainable price tag.

The Kia's power is shoved through the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox and against the clock, Kia claims it'll run to 100km/h in just 7.9 seconds.

The Pro_cee'd GT was designed in Europe under the direction of the company's well-known President and Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, and it will also be available as a five-door Cee'd GT model.

Both will be easy to tell apart from their regular counterparts thanks to bespoke 18-inch alloy wheels, red brake calipers, a unique quartet of LED lights in the lower bumper and GT badges. The cabin is decked out with Recaro seats and other unique touches.

But will it be coming to South Africa? Our contact at Kia SA says that a decision has yet to be made.