Kia brought a performance car to SEMA in the form of a new GT trim level, available with a new-to-the-line turbo engine, for the Kia Forte compact.
The 2020 Kia Forte GT gets race-inspired visual cues outside and upgraded sportier interior amenities to add the right look to go with the added performance, which features an available turbocharged engine and suspension upgrades.
“The fantastic capabilities of our team of engineers really shined in the development of the Stinger and we’re thrilled to continue injecting a bit more sport into some of the other models in the lineup” said Orth Hedrick, executive director, Car Planning and Telematics for Kia Motors America. “Whether you want a practical commuter or performance compact sedan, there’s now a Forte that appeals to several types of car shoppers. The Forte is already one of our top sellers, and we believe adding more diversity to the model line will appeal to a broader range of consumers.”
Much of the new GT equipment levels are still being finalized, as well as the pricing, but the company did reveal that there will be two levels of improved performance to the GT line, in the form of equipment packages (right now identified as GT1 and GT2, but we would expect it to follow the historical Kia nomenclature of GT and GT+).
Among the visual cues are gloss black grille, accented in red, gloss black side mirror housings with integrated LED trim signals, and gloss black side sills and rear spoiler. Inside, there are alloy sport pedals, and a flat bottom steering wheel and exclusive black, heavily bolstered sport seats, both stitched in contrasting white.
The packages add sport-tuned dual exhaust, LED headlights and 2-tone 18-inch alloy wheels (shod with 225/40R18 Michelin Pilot performance tires).
But the big advancement in the GT trim is performance, with an upgrade to the 201-hp 1.6-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that makes 195 lb-ft of torque. It is reined in by either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual clutch paddle-shift automatic.
To handle the added power, the suspension has been upgraded to improve handling and cornering abilities and ride quality, and enhance stability and steering.
The interior switches up the white contrast stitching for red, adds push-button start, an illuminated GT instrument panel in-lay and LED ambient lighting. It also adds a power sunroof, wireless charging, power driver’s seat, heated and ventilated seats, dual-zone climate control, LCD touchscreen atop the instrument panel, and 320-watt Harman Kardon audio system with eight speakers.
Of course, it also has all the customary driving aids (either standard or available, depending on the equipment packages) — adaptive cruise control, forward collision avoidance assist, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, driver attention warning, blind spot warning with lane change assist, and rear cross-traffic warning.