Kia Reveals New Forte Sedan
After various boring "teaser photos" (does McDonald's release teaser shots of its new chicken sandwiches?), Kia has revealed its new C-segment sedan. The Forte ("strong" or "loud") will replace the decent but long-incisored Spectra sedan in the U.S., as well as the Spectra's evil twin brother, the hatchback Cerato (available in other markets). The Forte was designed by Peter Schreyer, the same fella that penned the New Beetle and iconic first generation Audi TT. Although the Forte doesn't live up to his Audi meisterstuck— some parts are a little derivative, including the Lexus IS inspired front, side, and back– it's a sharp looking car. Kia has confirmed a coupe version based on the Koup concept from the NY Auto Show. Kia is also considering a hot version with a turbocharged four-banger. But torque steer would be dish of the day if the concept car's 290 horses made it to production. The big question about the new Forte: what kind of mileage and power we can expect from the 1.6 and 2.0-liter engines? Will the US will even get the 1.6? That, and whether the obligatory-for-Europe hatchback will come to America to replace the Spectra5. Looks cool though, I'll give 'em that.
I always thought the Spectra looked a lot like one of those plastic model cars I used to make as a boy, but after it was put into an oven for a few minutes and the front and rear ends drooped... Could never bring myself to quite consider driving a car with that mental picture every time I see it... This is a huge improvement.
It looks great, but how will it drive? I'm not a fan of the current Spectra's 2.0 liter four cylinder tractor engine.
I can't imagine real-world shoppers will mind the resemblance to a Lexus IS/Acura TSX. This is a $15,000 car; the alternative isn't the "real thing," but a Ford Focus or Suzuki Forenza. Wing-mirror turn signals and a stubby BMW-style antenna are nice touches.
To me this doesn't look bad, at all. Way better than the current Corolla and Civic. Now gimme a wagon.