SEMA isn’t typically the place where you would debut a brand new car.

Instead, it’s more the venue for putting 30-inch rims on your jacked-up Ram pickup and then adding a drop-trailer ball.

But Kia has taken it upon itself to release a brilliant little car among the pearlescent-paint-shod and body-kitted rides, in the form of the Kia Forte GT.

This is only the second Kia vehicle to receive the top-of-the-line GT trim, the other being the Stinger GT. In Kia’s hierarchy, the “GT” denotes more sport-oriented handling, with luxury thrown into the mix as well.

While we aren’t going to see a twin-turbo 3.3-litre V6 dropped into the Forte GT, it does get a pretty big boost in power. The GT gets the engine from the Soul Turbo, which means a 1.6-litre turbo-four with 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque, a nice 54-horsepower jump up from standard.

To make the GT into a truly sporty package, Kia has added a raft of features usually found on sporty cars, including independent front and rear suspension, sport-tuned exhaust, flat-bottom steering wheel, 18-inch two-tone wheels with optional performance tires, LED headlights, alloy sports pedals, projector fog lights, and a rear spoiler.

When the Forte is made available in the summer of 2019, the GT trim level will spit, and be offered as GT1 or GT2. Pricing has not been announced yet.

Source: Driving

October 30, 2018