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 |  Apr 01 2010, 12:16 PM

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Kia pulled the covers off a new hatchback version of the Forte at the New York Auto Show but oddly chose not to let the media see any of the five doors actually open. It’s especially strange when the car is called the Forte Five-Door.

Joining the Forte sedan and Forte Koup, the Five-Door will be available with either a 2.0l or a 2.4l engine and a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

Kia didn’t release any specs for the new hatchback but the Forte’s 2.0l engine is rated at 156 hp and 144 ft-lb. of torque while the 2.4l Forte has 173 hp and 168 ft-lb.

It’s still odd that Kia chose to keep the Five-Door locked however. None of the Kia reps we spoke to, including the VP of sales, even realized it was locked, and when they checked, we were told the doors would remain closed through the day.

Gallery: Kia Forte Five-Door

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 |  Mar 25 2010, 3:44 PM

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Thanks to some spy photos obtained by the folks at InsideLine, we now know that Kia is planning to introduce a five-door hatchback to the Forte lineup. It’s not clear when the car will debut or exactly what it will be called; there’s the obvious Forte hatchback, or the Forte5 name (in reference to the Sectra5). Or perhaps it will be called the Forte Touring – like the Elantra Touring.

We can be confident it will come standard with the 156-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder and there’s a good change the larger and more powerful 173-hp 2.4-liter engine will also be offered. Interestingly, the spy photos (follow the link below) show the hatchback wearing the same wheels as the coupe – perhaps suggesting that Kia will take the hatchback in a sporty direction. While unconventional (at least on this side of the Atlantic), a sporty hatch would compete perfectly with the car’s main competitors: the Volkswagon Golf and Mazda3. A sporty hatchback will also be important for Kia’s continued expansion in Europe.

[Source: InsideLine]