Kia's all-new 2013 Cerato sedan will stop off in Los Angeles this week before making its Australian debut early next year.
The Cerato's unveiling at the LA Auto Show will mark its first appearance outside of South Korea, where it is sold as the K3. In the US, it will continue as the Kia Forte.
An Australian debut for the new Cerato is set for the first quarter of 2013, with five-door and coupe versions expected to follow later in the year.
Kia Australia is understood to have a pre-production 2013 Cerato already undergoing testing around the country, as part of the local operation's intensive suspension and handling program.
The new Cerato is a bigger car than its predecessor, measuring 30mm longer at 4560mm and riding on a 51mm longer 2700mm wheelbase.
The 2013 model is 5mm wider at 1780mm, and 25mm lower, lending the sedan a more sporting look.
In Korea, the new Cerato gets Hyundai Kia's 103kW/167Nm 1.6 litre petrol engine, but we can likely expect the direct-injected 130kW/211Nm 2.0 litre 'Nu' engine that will also feature in the Rondo.
Expect Kia's new Flex Steer driving modes to feature in the new Cerato, having already debuted in the Rondo and the updated Sorento SUV, now on sale in Australia.
Although an ageing model, the current Cerato remains Kia's top-selling model in 2012, with nearly 7000 sales (6961) to its credit at the end of October.
The new Rio is a close second however, with 6595 sales in the same period.