The incoming 2019 Kia Cerato GT has been previewed again by the release of the North American-specification model, which is called Forte GT, at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. Using the same 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine as the Hyundai i30 SR, mated to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, the Cerato GT should prove a tastier proposition than the current 2.0-litre Cerato.
Kia Australia has confirmed that both the Cerato GT and Cerato hatchback will be arriving in local showrooms in the first quarter of 2019, though both are yet to be revealed in their final form.
“The fantastic capabilities of our team of engineers really shined in the development of the Stinger and we’re thrilled to continue injecting a bit more sport into some of the other models in the lineup” said Orth Hedrick, executive director, Car Planning and Telematics, Kia Motors America.
“Whether you want a practical commuter or performance compact sedan, there’s now a Forte that appeals to several types of car shoppers. The Forte is already one of our top sellers, and we believe adding more diversity to the model line will appeal to a broader range of consumers.”
As previewed through the Korean-spec K3 GT, the Cerato GT will pick up a number of sportier styling treatments to distinguish it from lesser Cerato models. The wheels grow to 18-inches in size and add a multispoke design, while the ride height has dropped slightly for superior handling. The bumpers have been redesigned for more aggression with a wider front intake, a sportier take on Kia’s famous Tiger Nose grille with red highlights, wider side skirts to give the car more of a stance and a deep rear diffuser with a red highlight all give a more sporting look.
Inside the Cerato GT’s cabin are several red highlights, including on the seats and steering wheel, as well as a flat-bottomed steering wheel with GT badging. The sports seats are covered in black leather upholstery for a sportier look and the steering wheel earns paddle shifters if the automatic option is ticked.
In the United States, Forte GT owners have a choice of two option packages called GT1 and GT2. GT1 adds a blind-spot monitoring with lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, a power sunroof, LED interior lighting, a 320-watt Harman Kardon sound system, wireless phone charging, a 4.2-inch LCD driver’s screen and dual-zone climate control. The GT2 package adds all of that plus adaptive cruise control, heated and ventilated front seats and a 10-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat.
Kia is also offering a North American Forte GT-Line, which adds the sporty styling of the GT model but without the go faster parts. Kia Australia is yet to confirm if a Cerato GT-Line will be offered locally, but it’s possible considering the Rio GT-Line just went on sale.
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