If there was ever any doubt about Kia’s intent, then the new pro_cee’d GT and cee’d GT will quickly dispel them. After two generations of nice but uninspiring hatches, Kia will launch their most performance-focused production cars ever at the forthcoming Geneva Motor Show.

Powered by their 1.6-litre GDI petrol engine, both models offer 201 bhp and 195lb/ft of torque, powering the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. Performance is competitive with the 0 to 62mph sprint despatched in 7.9 seconds.

Designed in Europe under the direction of President and Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, both models feature distinctive hot-hatch styling, LED daytime running lights, dual-exhaust pipes, Recaro seats, 18-inch alloy wheels and red brake calipers.

Production is due to commence in mid-May at Kia’s Zilina plant in Slovakia, with the pro_cee’d GT going on sale from the middle of the year, followed by the cee’d GT counterpart from the end of 2013.

Nobody’s expecting Kia’s GT hatches to challenge the Golf GTI or Focus ST, but for some, they’ll offer sufficient buzz and credibility to be taken seriously.