We saw the first look at the 2009 Kia Forte and the interior spy shots earlier last month; Kia has now released the official press release along with some close up shots of the NEW Forte – or the next-generation Kia Spectra on the stateside that will hit U.S. roads next year.
The 2009 Kia Forte will go on sale next week with a 1.6 liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 124 horsepower. Kia will also add a 2.0 liter engine along with diesel option in the near future.
Interesting things to notice from the pics that are unusual for Kia is the new star/stop engine button, keyless entry, heated seats, iPod/USB connectivity and the overall interior design that seems to have nothing Korean about it. Kia will also add a coupe version based on the Kia KOUP concept next year – the hatchback will be dropped from the lineup.
2009 Kia Forte Sedan:
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.