Kia has used the SEMA show in Las Vegas to debut a new sporty version of the Forte (called Cerato in Australia), with the Forte GT. It gives the popular small car some turbo power and a racier look than ever before.
The 2019 Kia Cerato has only just gone on sale in Australia. It’s available in three trim lines, but all are powered by a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine that produces 112kW. For the Cerato/Forte GT, Kia has installed its 1.6-litre turbo from other models, which produces 150kW and 265Nm.
Bolted up next to the engine is either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch auto, with front-wheel drive. Figures for the 0-100km/h sprint haven’t been mentioned but we’re sure it goes quite swiftly. Fuel economy figures are also yet to be confirmed.
It’s not all about the turbo power, though. The Kia Forte GT shares some design elements from the GT-Line, including a subtle bodykit with a black front grille and intakes, and black rear spoiler and side skirts. Some red highlights are also infused for that traditional sporty presentation.
Power is transferred to a set of 18-inch alloy wheels that are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport tyres, while handling is taken care of thanks to a revised suspension setup. The fully independent front and rear ends incorporate thicker sway bars for improved cornering, and there’s also a set of bigger brakes for added confidence.
Being the new top-line variant, the GT boasts a range of standard goodies. LED headlights come as standard, as do sports seats with red stitching, alloy pedals and a flat-bottom steering wheel. Also available is a 4.2-inch digital instrument cluster display, wireless phone charging, and a 320-Watt Harman/Kardon sound system.
Kia will be launching the new Forte next year in the US, as model year 2020. It’s unknown if the GT version will eventually be added to the Australian lineup under the Cerato nameplate, but we wouldn’t expect it to arrive until later next year, if at all.