2014 KIA CERATO KOUP
Kia has whipped the covers off its sportiest model yet, the Forte Koup - AKA, the next-generation Kia Cerato Koup.
Powered by the same 1.6 litre direct-injected, turbocharged and intercooled petrol four-pot used by the Hyundai Veloster SR Turbo, the range-topping Forte Koup SX pumps out 150kW of power and 264Nm of torque.
A 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated engine powers the entry Koup EX, and with 129kW and 209Nm, it's got 14kW and 15Nm more than the current Koup's atmo 2.0.
Kia isn't making any performance claims for either powertrain, but, if the Veloster Turbo is anything to go, by the SX should be fairly brisk.
The new Koup also borrows the user-selectable electronic power steering system from the Hyundai i30, allowing drivers to customise the level of steering assistance at the push of a button.
To boost cornering performance Kia has gifted the new Koup with its own unique suspension tune, however the basic MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear suspension layout are shared with the Cerato.
The sharp, angular lines of the current Cerato Koup have been softened for the 2014 model, while the head and tail lamps have grown substantially larger. LED daytime running lamps also give the Koup's snout a more distinctive look.
Inside there's more soft-touch surfaces as well as chrome and carbon fibre-like trim.
Other luxuries on the US-spec high grade model include a push-button starter, heated front seats, a ventilated driver's seat and alloy pedals, along with dual-zone climate control, cruise control, a heated steering wheel and sat-nav.
The new Cerato Koup is expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2013, with pricing and local specifications to be confirmed closer to that date.
At this point it's unclear whether Kia will offer the turbocharged 1.6 litre engine in Australia, however given the success of the Hyundai Veloster Turbo it's highly likely that it will be heading our way.
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