Forte to play crucial role in Kia's fortunes in ChinaKia Motors Corporation, along with its joint venture Donfeng Yueda Kia (DYK), has taken the wraps off its locally-produced Forte C-segment sedan at Auto Shanghai 2009. Also making its Chinese debut is the Korea-produced new Sorento Highline Cruiser which made its world premiere earlier this month at the 2009 Seoul Motor Show.
China-made Kia Forte
The Kia Forte for the Chinese market will be produced at DYK's plant located in Jiangsu province and has a crucial role to play in the brand's future fortunes in China. It will be sold alongside the hugely popular locally-produced current generation model – the Cerato.
Kia designers and engineers concentrated on eight key areas while developing the Forte: dynamic styling, class-leading performance, increased fuel economy, improved ride/handling balance, greater cabin comfort, enhanced overall safety, the introduction of new technologies and maintained functionality.
Globally, the Forte four-door sedan will be joined by an exciting two-door coupe model – Forte (Cerato) Koup, which was unveiled last week at the New York Motor Show and will go on sale in late 2009.
Styled under the direction of Kia's Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, the previously conservative appearance has been put aside and Forte embodies Kia's new design DNA in its most complete form so far.
"Design gives a soul to the product and the future of Kia products lies in balance, clarity and purpose. Our all-new Forte embodies that philosophy. Breaking away from traditional forms, Forte is a design that notches up the visual standards of C-segment cars. Without any extraneous features, its crisp, clean exterior styling conveys a powerful and dynamic image that exudes speed," observes Schreyer.
For the Chinese market, Forte will be available with a choice of a 2-liter gasoline or locally produced 1.6-liter gasoline engine, with manual or automatic transmissions, in a selection of 10 exterior colors and two interior colors, with a broad choice of equipment/trim levels and a vast range of factory-fitted optional extras.
Forte is 30 mm longer, 40 mm wider and 10 mm lower than the previous model and features a wheelbase also extended by 40 mm to ensure that five adults can be comfortably accommodated. Following modern design trends and improving both stability and handling, the track is increased by 62 mm front and 79 mm rear (up to 39 mm more than the body), pushing the wheels towards the vehicle's outer extremity for a bolder stance.