These are the first official images of the 2013 Kia Cerato, Kia Forte for the Americas, or Kia K3 as it’s known in the manufacturer’s domestic market. The new Cerato has been on our minds ever since we were shown design sketches at the launch of the Rio sedan back in April.
“Longer, lower and wider than the current car, with an extended wheelbase, the next generation Cerato will be manufactured with an all-new bodyshell structure,” said Kia in a short statement, leaving many details up to our imagination.
We do know that the Korean manufacturer will continue to offer the mid-size car in both five-door hatch and four-door sedan and, with the slender proportions and streamlined cues of the revised design making it a sportier looking car, we hope it’ll be mechanically up to the task too. No further details have become available, specifically in terms of the engine line-up, but with a bit of luck some technology from the European market Kia C’eed will be shared.
If so, the overlap could mean the debut of a number of new turbocharged engines for Kia in South Africa. Currently Kia South Africa is testing a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine for the Optima, but in addition, we’re hoping to see the manufacturer’s 1.2- and 1.6-litre T-GDI petrol engines introduced. With around 88 kW and 136 kW respectively, these small capacity turbocharged engines would replace the current 1.6- and 2.0-litre naturally aspirated units that power the current Cerato, while simultaneously reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Of course, technology comes at a price, which will either make it unfeesable for the Cerato, or alternatively, just another shining example of Kia’s ‘Power To Surprise’.
Also in Kia’s bag of tricks is its ‘Flex Steer’ suspension system, which provides preset suspension damping modes, ‘Comfort’, ‘Normal’ and ‘Sport’; a system similar to that of Audi’s Drive Select or Opel’s FlexRide.
We expect more information to become available within the next few weeks, if not sooner.