The sporty new Kia Ceed GT will go on sale in early 2019.

It will be powered by a new 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine developing 204ps and 265Nm of torque.

Although the Ceed GT will still feature a six-speed manual transmission as standard, for this first time it will be offered with the option of Kia’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

A new Drive Mode Select system will feature on DCT cars, with Normal and Sport modes altering the parameters of the transmission, steering and throttle response.

Performance figures haven’t been revealed, but with peak torque arriving at just 1,500rpm and sticking around until 4,500rpm, it should provide effortless and rapid acceleration that can be easily exploited in the real world.

It should sound good, too, as Kia has added an electronic sound generator system as well as flaps in the exhaust system to alter the sound during acceleration.

Keeping this all in check are thicker and larger 320mm brake discs, Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres, a retuned stability management system and a torque vectoring system that brakes the inside wheel to reduce understeer during cornering.

Compared to the regular Ceed models, the suspension is 5mm lower and features revised spring and damper rates, while softer anti-roll bars ensure the tyres remain in contact with the tarmac during hard cornering.

A quicker steering rack rounds out the changes that Kia says have been carefully tuned by Albert Biermann, the company’s head of high-performance development, to provide keen responses across a wide range of conditions.

Externally, the Ceed GT features a sportier front bumper design, larger air intakes, gloss black trim and a honeycomb grille pattern with subtle red highlights.

Larger 18-inch alloy wheels, extended black and red side sills, modest roof spoiler, revised rear bumper and gloss black rear diffuser finish off the sportier look.

The interior, meanwhile, gains a black headliner, D-shaped steering wheel, aluminium pedals, sports seats with firmer side bolsters, and a smattering of GT logos.

Paddle shifters feature on DCT cars, as does Kia’s infotainment system with either 7- or 8-inch touch-screen depending on spec.

Eight paint finishes will be available, with more details set to be announced before the Ceed GT goes on sale in the first quarter of 2019.

Update: New Kia Ceed GT to be priced from £25,535