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Brand New Kia Cerato

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Mike Stevens | Oct 9, 2009

KIA AUSTRALIA is set to enter this year's Global Green Car Challenge, where it will take on the field with its Kia Forte LPI Hybrid, sold locally (in petrol-engined form) as the Kia Cerato.

The Global Green Car Challenge sees manufacturers and groups from around the world trekking 3000km down the centre of Australia in a battle for the best fuel economy and the lowest emissions.

Hedging its bets and at the same time testing the platform for a possible entry into the Australian market, Kia will enter two of its Forte LPI Hybrids, already available to buy in the brand's home market of Korea.

“We’ll be testing the feasibility of the vehicle for Australian conditions, including the engine’s compatibility with Australian LPG,” Kia’s Public Relations Manager Jonathan Fletcher told TMR.

“The proportions of butane and propane vary widely in Australian LPG, it’s certainly something we need to be mindful of.”

Powered by LPG (liquified petroleum gas) and featuring a fuel-saving gas/electric powertrain, the Forte LPi Hybrid could form the basis for an ultra-frugal Cerato variant.

The Korean-market only Kia Forte LPi Hybrid uses just 5.6 litres of LPG per 100km on the combined cycle and emits just 99 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

With the Forte LPi Hybrid’s 1.6 litre engine tuned to run exclusively on LPG, the cost of keeping it fuelled up would be a fraction of the cost of a petrol-powered vehicle with similar fuel economy.

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