It seems like it was just yesterday when the third-generation Kia Ceed made its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show. The Korean carmaker is already performing road tests for a more powerful GT version, of which a prototype has been spotted by our European spy photographers.

This is the first public sighting of the spruced up Euro hatch, so the comprehensive masking is rather unsurprising. The front fascia is barely discernible under all that black wrap, but expect a new and more aggressive bumper to go with the sporting theme.

Its sporty nature becomes a bit more apparent round the side – it appears to sit on larger 18-inch alloys shod with low profile Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres. Between the front and rear wheels you’ll see a thicker skirting that’s accented in black and red. The side mirrors are contrasted in black, although it remains to be seen if this will make it to production.

At the back, the tail lights are unchanged, although interestingly there are two exhaust exits, both trapezoidal in shape. This is a departure from the single rounded exits found on the standard Ceed. A sportier diffuser can also be expected.

With regards to performance, the Ceed GT is rumoured to be powered by a 1.6 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol that delivers somewhere around the 200 hp mark. Expect tweaked suspension for a more agile setup, along with beefier brakes.

The regular Ceed comes with a range of petrol and diesel powertrains, beginning with the petrol 1.4 litre MPi (100 PS), 1.0 litre T-GDi (120 PS) and Kappa 1.4 litre T-GDi (140 PS). For diesels, there’s the Euro6-compliant 1.6 litre CRDi mill with two – 115 PS and 136 PS – outputs. All engines come with a six-speed manual as standard, although the 1.4L T-GDi and 1.6L CRDi can be had with a seven-speed dual-clutch auto.

Besides the Ceed GT, Kia will also be spawning a crossover as well as a shooting brake versions of the Ceed. Will each variant get its respective GT treatment? Only time will tell. What do you think of this?