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Keeping pace with Hyundai, Kia unveiled its latest production car today: the 2013 Forte 5-Door.
Delivery of diverse diesel passenger car lines in the U.S. isn’t an uncertainty anymore, but rather a waiting game. There’s almost no question that the world’s automakers will soon offer more diesel cars to Americans, it’s just a question of when.
Kia Motors America’s motorsports program hit a new high last year grabbing the Team and Driver titles in the 2011 Street Tuner (ST) class in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Now they’re looking forward to 2012 with new driver pairings for both the number-10 and number-12 Infinity Audio Forte Koups.
The first race of the 2012 Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Championship season will be on January 27, 2012 at Daytona International Speedway and Kia will have Andy Lally and Nic Jönsson to lead the way. Lally returns to the Kia Racing program fresh off his 2011 Sonoco Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year performance, reuniting with ST Driver Champion Jönsson. Both drivers were last seen capturing Kia’s first-ever Grand-Am podium at Daytona in January 2011 before Lally went off to NASCAR.
Both drivers are extremely excited and looking forward to the start of the new season and defending the Driver and Team championships for Kia Racing.
If this is a hint of what the 2013 Kia Forte may look like, the Korean auto manufacturer might have a winner on their hands. Despite only being on the market since 2009, Kia is looking to refresh their Forte by next year, as a 2013 model.
The sketch shows off the supposed new 2013 Forte sedan, clearly getting some inspiration from their fellow Korean counterparts at Hyundai. The front grille is also very Optima-esque. It might be a few more months before we’ll see more on the new Forte, but if this is the direction that Kia is taking with their design, we approve.
[Source: Kia World]
Kia has unveiled four custom models at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas today, with each car featuring a different sport as its theme. A custom Soul, built by West Coast Customs, is inspired by Michelle Wie, Kia’s official golf ambassador. A Rio 5-Door was built in partnership with Antenna featuring a Retro Surf theme. A custom Forte 5-Door “Hat Trick” sports a hockey theme while Kia continues its Blake Griffin collaboration with a “Slam Dunk” Optima Hybrid, also built by West Coast Customs.
Michelle Wie’s “Hole-in-One” Soul features unmistakable original artwork by Wie herself, Kia’s official golf ambassador. The “So Blue” exterior paint scheme is offset by the custom artwork that can also be seen on the 20-inch wheels. Wie’s personal logo and artwork has also been embroidered in the Soul’s “Snow White” headrests while the dash has been painted baby blue and the headliner now rocks a stylish pink. Plenty of entertainment is in the rear with an Xbox 360 with Kinect while two of Wie’s tournament-used golf bags are mounted behind the 26-inch LED TV.
The “Retro Surf” Rio 5-Door is outfitted with everything a surfer needs in a retro-styled package. An authentic Grain wood surfboard has been mounted on the roof while a set of 17-inch Rotiform gold wheels really sets off the sunset-metallic golden-brown paint scheme. A custom body kit features a front splitter made of wood. On the inside, plaid boardshorts-themed brown and beige fabric adorns the interior while the center console features a retro wood grain theme. And to ensure everyone is nice and safe at the beach, the rear center console features a shelf to hold sunblock and other beach accessories.
Following up on Blake Griffin’s amazing dunk off a Kia, the Optima Hybrid built by West Coast Customs is probably the most basketball we’ll get during the lockout. The outside orange paint features a unique basketball theme further accented by 20-inch wheels and Griffin’s personal logo on the hood. Basketball-court flooring is in the front, rear and trunk areas while a “Pop-A-Shot” basketball hoop has been mounted in the trunk for some off-court entertainment.
The cleanly-built “Hat Trick” Forte 5-Door by Antenna features an ice-metallic gray exterior paint contrasted by 19-inch six-spoke blue wheels. A custom body kit was built onto a Forte Koup front bumper that also features carbon fiber accents and LED “hockey stick” fog lights. The headliner inside features a built-in hockey coach’s board while the rear-cargo houses four carbon fiber hockey sticks, two jerseys, an ice skate rack and glove hooks.
GALLERY: Michelle Wie “Hole-in-One” Soul
GALLERY: Rio 5-Door “Retro Surf”
GALLERY: Blake Griffin “Slam Dunk” Optima Hybrid
GALLERY: Forte 5-Door “Hat Trick”
Sharing the same platform as that car, look for an improved ride quality, plus the Forte is expected to get a new design closer in keeping with the larger Optima sedan.
As for engines, look for the 1.8-liter 4-cylinder from the Elantra with 148-hp. Both a six-speed manual and six-speed automatic will be offered. In terms of fuel economy, look for fuel economy that could even exceed the 29/40-mpg rating of the current Elantra. The 2013 Kia Forte could even get a stop-start system that will arrive in the all-new Rio later this year.
[Source: Automotive News]
Hyundai‘s new Accent was the star of the companies exhibit at this year’s Beijing Auto Show, but the debut of two new engines and a new automatic transmission will have broader implications for the rest of the company’s lineup.
In addition to the 2.4L GDI four-cylinder in the Sonata (pictured above), two new gasoline direct-injection engines were unveiled at Beijing, a 1.6L four cylinder putting out 138 horsepower, a 28 horsepower bump over Hyundai’s current 1.6L four banger. The 1.6 GDI should appear in the Accent, Elantra, certain Kia models and the upcoming Veloster compact sports car. Even more enticing was the mention in a product video that the 1.6 could potentially be turbocharged and paired up with a dual-clutch gearbox, though no timeline was given for either technology.
Hyundai’s long awaited GDI version of the Lambda V6 was also previewed, although the engine was only rated at 296 horsepower, which is a few ponies less than the current Lambda makes in Hyundai’s Genesis Coupe. One can assume that there will be different variations, and that the engine will see a bump in power when it comes Stateside. Hyundai also joins Lexus in the elite 8-speed automatic club, and it’s a sure bet that the Genesis Sedan and Coupe will get the new 8-speed auto option.
With Hyundai positioning itself as a premium brand, the company has an obligation to innovate on its own, and not just play catch-up – even if they’re hot on the heels of world leaders like Lexus.
[Source: Edmunds Inside Line]
The sub-$20,000.00 2010 Kia Forte Koup has made quite the splash amongst the younger demographics with its attractive price tag and 2.4L 173-hp engine. Its attractive, stylish yet aggressive lines clearly make a statement that Kia has stepped up to the plate to play ball, capturing a market that used to be almost exclusive to Honda, Acura and Scion. But much like their Japanese counterparts, Kia has looked towards marketing with customization and personalization, especially with the hip Forte Koup. The result? The Kia Forte Koup SX-R with a fine collection of accessories that have Forte Koup SX owners going wild for. The major disappointment for those in the US? It’s currently only available in Canada.
The buzz was started with the official debut at the Toronto Auto Show and a little less than a month later the orders are coming in. The Forte Koup SX-R will be made available to Canadian Kia dealers by mid-May with pre-orders starting now. The aesthetics of the Forte Koup has been further complemented with a front chin spoilers, new side skirts, and a rear lip spoiler. Minor details on the outside come in the form of chrome “R” badges while the interior receives “R” branded door sills. Engine performance has been enhanced thanks to an AEM Performance drop-in air filter and performance axle-back exhaust system. The car rides lower and stiffer thanks to a set of Eibach Pro lowering springs (1.3-inch drop) and a front upper strut brace. No custom car is complete without a fine set of wheels and tires and Kia delivers in a big way with a set of 18-inch Europa wheels wrapped with, surprisingly, Yokohama S-Drive performance tires. The Kia Forte Koup SX-R is available in three attractive colors: Titanium Silver, Racing Red and Black.
Now all these accessories will be available for order through Canadian Kia dealerships only for those already cruising around in Forte Koup SX. American enthusiasts will probably have to open up their wallet a little bit for freight across the border, but we anticipate many of them to be willing to do so. If you’re interested, contact any Canadian Kia dealership and reference accessory bulletin AY10 007. It’s exciting times for Kia owners and we can’t wait to see what’s next from the Korean manufacturer.
Gallery: Kia Forte Koup SX-R
Hyundai and Kia have announced plans to build more fuel-efficient versions of the Accent, Elantra and Forte. These “blue” models will be much like GM’s XFE (Xtra Fuel Efficient) cars and trucks and use many of the same techniques.
For starters, fuel-economy will be improved through the use of a five-speed, rather than the standard four-speed automatic transmission. The cars will also get lower rolling resistance tires, as well as electric (rather than hydraulic) power steering. Additionally, new alternators will be used that produce less drag on the engine, while special aerodynamic enhancements will help improve efficiency in that respect.
Kia says the Forte EX with the company’s add-on fuel-economy package will get a rating of 27/36 mpg (city/highway) as compared to 25/34 mpg.
Hyundai has not released expected fuel-economy numbers for the Accent or Elantra, but if Kia’s 2 mpg rating holds steady then the vehicles should get 28/37 mpg and 25/37 mpg (city/highway) respectively.
Hyundai has set a goal of a fleet average fuel-economy rating of 35 mpg by 2015 and this will no doubt help it get there.
The cost to consumers for these fuel-efficient models will vary. Kia believes buyers will pay extra ($600 extra) for a fuel-economy package, while Hyundai will offer its “blue” models as stripped down versions costing less than the other trim levels.
All three fuel-efficient vehicles will be available late this summer as 2010 models.
[Source: Car & Driver]
Ahead of it’s official unveiling at the Seoul Auto Show, Kia has dropped the curtain on its first ever hybrid, the Forte LPI hybrid.
Based on the upcoming Forte compact sedan, the hybrid model makes use of a 1.6-liter engine that runs on liquid petroleum (more commonly known as propane). The Liquefied Petroleum Injected (LPI) engine makes 114hp with an electric motor that adds an additional 20hp for a total of 134hp.
The battery pack in the Forte LPI is a new state-of-the-art product that Kia has developed with parent company Hyundai and LG Chem. This lithium polymer battery (as opposed to the lithium-ion batteries used in most other hybrids) is lighter and smaller and has a higher output than a nickel-metal hydride unit.
A new CVT transmission is also a part of the package.
Kia says the Forte LPI hybrid will achieve a combined fuel economy rating of 40.5 mpg – which is says is the equivalent to 50.6 with gasoline (presumably due to the lower cost of propane).
Unfortunately LPI or propane isn’t readily available in most markets and so this vehicle isn’t likely to make it to most of the world. The vehicle will, however go on sale in South Korea in August.
While unveiling the car Kia did, however, state that it will bring another full hybrid car to production in 2010, with a hydrogen fuel cell car and plug-in hybrid in 2012. Parent company Hyundai is also planning a hybrid version of the Sonata for 2010.
GALLERY: Kia Forte LPI Hybrid