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 |  Sep 15 2010, 9:56 PM

It’s one of the most unique and perhaps gruelling motorsports events in North America, but the Targa Newfoundland, now in it’s eighth year, can also be one of the most rewarding.

Kia Canada is one of the longest participating automakers, having fielded official works cars in five events, including the inaugural race back in 2002. This year’s event marks a “natural extension of the company’s U.S. motorsports program,” according to an official Kia press release, that began last fall with road racing.

In conjunction with the Kinetic Group, Kia has fielded race prepped Koups in the Koni Challenge series and has now entered a car in the Targa’s modern class, driven by Adam Hill and Mark Kostick. The car was modified for the rally use by Sherwood Kia, a dealership in Edmonton Alberta, Canada and both Hill and Kostick have partnered with Team Wishful Thinking as part of an effort to raise $100,000 for the Children’s Wish Foundation.

This year’s Targa which takes place between September 10-18; covers a distance of some 1,375 miles (2200 km) and if past years are anything to go by, will likely be a real car breaker. Inspired by the original Targa Florio and latter day Targa Tasmania, competitors drive on closed public roads at speeds of up to 100 mph or more. For more information on Kia’s progress and the Targa, click on the link below.

[Source: Kia Canada]

 |  Feb 11 2009, 6:10 PM

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Unveiled simultaneously at the Chicago Auto Show and the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, Kia took the wraps of its new Forte compact sedan.

The Forte will be offered in three trims with LX and EX models featuring a 2.0-liter four cylinder engine with 156hp and 144 ft-lbs of torque. An SX model will also be offered with a larger 2.4-liter four cylinder boasting 173hp and 168 ft-lbs of torque. This is more power than what is offered in either the top line Mazda3 or Toyota Corolla.

A five-speed manual is standard on the LX and EX with an optional four-speed automatic. We’re a little disappointed to see a four-speed on a brand new cars these days but those who so choose can opt for the SX, which comes with a six-speed manual as standard an an optional five-speed automatic.

Kia will offer a Fuel Economy Package, featuring the 2.0-liter engine with a five-speed auto, motor driven power steering (as opposed to electric), low rolling resistance tires and improved aerodynamics. This will result in a class-leading 36 mpg on the highway.

LX models will be quite basic but EX and SX models will include standard power windows and locks, remote keyless entry, AC and steering-wheel mounted audio and cruise controls. A sunroof and leather seating will be optional. SX owners might just want to stick with the cloth seats, however, as Kia has equipped the Forte SX with styling red stitching.

SX models will also get plenty of other upgrades to match that red stitching, including a sport-tuned suspension, larger front brakes, a rear spoiler and 17-inch wheels with significantly sized 215/45/17 tires.

Wow.. a Kia we’re actually excited to drive!

Note: At the Canadian International Auto Show, Kia also had the Koup Concept on display (first featured at least year’s New York Auto Show) and according to Kia rep Sixto Fernandes, Kia will launch a new coupe in the summer and we should expect it to look very close to the concept.

2010 Kia Forte:

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Kia Koup Concept:

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Official release after the jump:

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