The view from the back reveals independent rear suspension, likely shared with its platform brother, the 2017 Hyundai i30. The wheels are large, and a single exhaust pipe comes out the left, right side of the car. But the cutout in the bummer is much greater, suggesting a sport-looking tip is going to be installed.
The current generation Cee'd has a GT-Line package, which mirrors the look of a hot hatch without necessitating a powerful engine. However, the "fake" treatment doesn't include a visible exhaust tip.
Likely powering the prototype seen at the Nurburgring is a 1.6-liter T-GDI engine with a similar 204 PS output to the outgoing Cee'd GT. Maybe this time around, they'll get around to installing that DCT gearbox option that was promised in 2015.
We'll have to wait and see if Kia has the money to develop a real hot hatch like the one Hyundai is cooking. But the bulk of their 400,000 sales in Europe last year came from much smaller engines. Development of downsized turbos is finally over, and the next-gen Cee'd will make great use of the 1.0 and 1.4-liter T-GDI engines.
Likewise, it will have several 1.6-liter diesel units, and about half the powertrains should be available with a DSG-rivalling twin-clutch gearbox.
No longer a company that sells cheap cars, Kia is now the more design-led of the two Korean brands. Peter Schreyer's team is likely going to present a hatchback version of the Optima's look, but with a more Germanic twist.
The tiger-nose grille is certainly at the center of it all. Below it, we see a radar system for the active cruise control, while the headlights each have four LED dots, similar to Porsche's.