AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Kia displayed one of its two race-prepped Forte Koups entered in the 2010 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Challenge Series at the Detroit Auto Show.
The #10 Infinity Kia Forte Koup will compete in the Street Tuner (ST) class with drivers Nic Jonsson and Andy Lally. Kia will enter a second car, the #12 Forte Koup, with drivers Adam Burrows and Trevor Hopwood.
Take a look at the photo gallery to see details including the carbon fiber dash, chase cam and steering wheel controls.
Gallery: Kia Forte Koup GRAND-AM Continental Tire Challenge Series Race Car
Kia appears to be readying an announcement that for 2010 it will launch a motorsports initiative using the Forte Koup.
We just received a brief (very brief) email from Kia Motors America stating that the Korean automaker will, “be accelerating its brand transformation” with an announcement at the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association) Show next week. Included with that announcement was the above photo.
Don’t be fooled by the badges and decals, however, as this is no SEMA show car. It appears to be a race ready Forte Koup, with the colors and badging being that of Kinetic Motorsports. Kinetic has long been involved in the Grand Am series an we suspect the announcement will be a car (or team) that will compete in next year’s Koni Challenge Series.
Kinetic does also run the Kinetic Speed Shop, for street legal performance, so there is also a strong possibility that Kinetic will be offering a full line of performance parts for the Forte Koup.
If we’re really lucky, Kia will announce both.
We’ll find out for sure next Tuesday, November 3rd on the first day of the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Be sure to check back for AutoGuide’s live SEMA coverage starting then.
Today at the New York Auto Show, Kia unveiled the Forte Koup. Based on the Koup Concept which made its first appearance at last year’s New York show, the Forte Koup is the first ever two-door from Kia.
The sporty-looking new model is based on the same platform as the sedan and will be offered in two trim levels: EX and SX. EX models will get a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 156hp and 144 ft-lbs of torque. This motor can achieve 25 mpg city and 34 mpg highway. It comes standard with a five-speed manual with an automatic option that is unfortunately just a four-speed.
The more powerful SX model will get a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 163hp and 168 ft-lbs of torque. This engine is capable of 22/32 mpg (city/hwy) with a six -speed manual (nice!) or 23/31 mpg with a five-speed automatic.
EX models will get 16-inch wheels with 205/55/16 tires and SX models will receive 17-inch alloys with 215/45/17 tires.
We eager to see how the little Koup drives, but won’t get our hopes up to high as the rear suspension is a semi-independent torsion-beam setup. The front is an independent MacPherson strut setup.
“On the heel of the introductions of the Soul and Forte sedan, Forte Koup represents the next exciting step in the transformation of Kia design and offers a blend of sporty and emotional appeal,” said Michael Sprague, vice president of marketing at Kia USA. “We believe our new design evolution coupled with standard Kia value and safety features will continue to attract customers to the Kia brand.”
GALLERY: Kia Forte Koup
More on the Kia Forte Koup: