Kia provides the first look at its completely restyled Forte compact sedan, sold locally as the K3 and in Australia and Brazil as the Cerato, releasing renderings of the new model that launches in Korea in the fourth quarter and in other markets in early 2013.
The sedan will be followed next year by a newly styled 5-door hatchback and 2-door coupe.
The all-new Forte features similar dynamic signature styling first seen on the Optima midsize sedan, sold as the K5 in Korea, including that car’s aggressive winged grille and sleek taillamps.
It will be somewhat lower, longer and wider than the current version, with increased interior room, Kia says. No information has been released on the car’s powertrain.
Analysts believe the sleeker look of Kia’s best-selling compact sedan will bode well in key markets. The Forte racked up global sales of 445,000 units in 2011.
In the U.S. Kia sold 40,800 Fortes through the first six months of 2012, according to WardsAuto data, down from 43,023 in like-2011.
Built on the same platform as the Kia Cee’d, which is produced at Zilina, Slovakia, the Forte will be produced in Kia’s Hwaseong, Korea, plant and at theYueda Kia plant in Jiangjen, China. The China version of the Forte will be marketed as the Shuma.
The revamped sedan will make its North American debut at the Los Angeles auto show in November, but by then it already will be on sale in Korea.