Kia's new Forte sedan will make its formal debut in Korea any time now, and, as often is the case, some shots have leaked just a bit early, including images of the interior. According to the press release that's pasted after the break, the Asian Forte will come with two separate 1.6-liter four cylinder engines, one gas and one diesel. Both of them pack a bit over 120 horses under the hood while the diesel, as expected, returns better fuel economy. The new Forte will begin at 11.9 million won in Korea -- about $11,300 in U.S. currency -- and reach 19.6 million won when totally loaded. We wouldn't put too much stock in those numbers when the car finally makes it Stateside, as the Spectra that it will replace costs over $13,000 to start. Unlike its Korean counterpart, though, the U.S.-spec Forte will likely be equipped with a larger 2.0-liter engine as its sole powerplant option. We'd imagine all that equipment, including the excellent iPod integration, will make it to our shores, as well.
Kia Motors Releases New Forte Compact Sedan
SEOUL, Aug 21 - Kia Motors Corp., South Korea's No. 2 carmaker, unveiled its new Forte compact sedan Thursday, hoping that the fuel-efficient car will help boost sales amid higher fuel prices.
The new model, which goes on sale next week, is the latest entrant to the country's 1.6-liter vehicle segment and marks the automaker's newest model after another 1.6-liter version of Cerato was released in November, 2003.
The Forte, equipped with a gasoline or diesel engine, will compete with the Avante by Hyundai Motor Co. (KSE:005380), the SM3 by Renault Samsung Motors Co. and the Lacetti by GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co.
The new Kia model generates 124 horsepower, and the company plans to add a 2-liter engine later.
The price for the Forte ranges from 11.9 million won (US$11,300) to 19.6 million won, depending on accessories and engine types, it said.
The automaker, an affiliate of Hyundai Motor Co. (KSE:, said it aims to sell 50,000 units domestically and 170,000 units overseas next year. For this year, Kia Motors targets the sale of 30,000 units. Annual sales for the model will rise to 250,000 annually from 2010, it said.
Kia Motors revamped its lineup to boost sales by redesigning its minicar Morning, mid-sized sedan Lotze and new Mohave sport-utility vehicle. It also plans to add a small crossover vehicle, known as Soul, later this year.
Kia Motors last month raised its domestic sales target to 364,000 units this year from 327,000, fueled by strong sales of its Morning mini-car.