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William Maley

Kia News: 2018 Kia Stinger GT Is Something Very Different (UPDATE)

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It has been over six years since Kia revealed to the world the fantastic looking GT concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Now fast forward to today and Kia has unveiled the production version known as the 2018 Stinger GT.

Yes, it may not be as striking at the GT concept. But let's be honest for a moment, have most production vehicles ever lived up in terms of design when compared to the concept? Not really. The Stinger GT retains the overall sportback profile of the GT concept, but adds a bit more sharpness. The front gets dual grilles, cooling ducts for the brakes, and hood vents.

Power will come from two engines; a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 255 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque or a twin-turbo 3.3L V6 producing 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet. Both engines will come paired with an eight-speed automatic and the choice of rear-wheel drive with a limited-slip differential or all-wheel drive with torque vectoring. The GT Stinger will also be the first Kia model with an electronically-adjustable suspension.

We'll have more details later tonight as Kia will debut the Stinger GT at an event tonight in Detroit.

UPDATE: As promised, we have more details on the Stinger GT along with pictures!

Let's begin with the interior which appears to take some ideas from Mercedes-Benz with the circular air vents and some material choices. A large amount of technology such as wireless device charging, 7-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system, navigation, and a small color screen in the instrument cluster. An optional Harman/Kardon audio system packs 15 speakers.

Size-wise, the Stinger GT is bigger than many of it competitors (Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class to name a couple). Overall length is 190.2-inch, while width comes in at 73.6 inches. The model rides on a 114.4 inch wheelbase.

No matter which engine you pick, it will feature a set of performance tires as standard. The turbo-four rides on 18-inch wheels, while the twin-turbo V6 gets 19-inch wheels along with Brembo brakes.

Sales are expected to begin this summer.

Source: Kia
Press Release is on Page 2


2018 Kia Stinger Makes World Debut At North American International Auto Show

  • Powerful all-new Fastback Sport Sedan Redefines the Kia Brand 
  • Kia Motors follows through on the promise of a production model of the GT concept
  • Designed in Frankfurt, developed on the Nurburgring, industry-leading quality by Kia

DETROIT, January 8, 2017 – At an event typically dominated by introductions from American auto companies, Kia Motors America (KMA) today stole the spotlight with the world debut of the all-new 2018 Kia Stinger (hereafter Stinger) at the North American International Auto Show.  A five-passenger fastback sports sedan poised to redefine a segment currently populated by European automakers, the Stinger promises to be the highest-performance production vehicle in the company’s history and is backed by Kia Motors’ industry-leading quality and reliability.  Offered with multiple engine and drivetrain configurations and luxurious accommodations, the Stinger is planned to go on sale in the U.S. late this year.  Pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch date.

“Unlike any Kia that has come before it, the Stinger really is a dream car for us, and here today in Detroit, that dream is now a reality after years of commitment and hard work from a passionate group of designers, engineers and executives around the world,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, Kia Motors America. “From its GT concept-car origins to the years of tuning and refining on the legendary Nurburgring circuit, no detail was too small to be obsessed over, and the result is simply stunning.”

Instantly recognizable as a direct evolution of the concept that preceded it, the all-new 2018 Kia Stinger design was overseen by Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors’ chief design officer, and his talented team of designers in Frankfurt.  Ride and handling development was looked after by Albert Biermann, head of Kia’s Vehicle Test and High Performance Development and his group of engineers in Korea and on the grueling Nurburgring racing circuit.  

But what makes a true gran turismo?  This question was the foundation for a years-long journey that began when the GT concept was first unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.  Although every Kia design study has a purpose, the GT concept was something considered by many outside the company as little more than a dream for a brand known for producing mass-market transportation rooted in value.  But the GT ignited embers of passion that sparked a fire within the organization and over the next five years that fire would grow beyond fantasy and morph into reality.

Once the Stinger was green lighted, that gran turismo question became a mantra as development commenced.  Coming from Kia, the design had to be bold.  And it was.  But it also had to be nimble and fast while also luxurious and quiet.  It had to achieve the perfect balance of ride and handling and seat five comfortably with room for luggage. It had to be a lot of things, but most of all, it had to be an authentic gran turismo.  And it is.

Design
Turning a concept into a production car is no small task and Schreyer looked no further than Kia’s Frankfurt studio – the birthplace of the GT concept – to bring the Stinger to life.  “A true gran turismo, a car for spirited long-distance driving, is not about outright power, hard-edged dynamics and brutal styling, all at the expense of luxury, comfort and grace,” notes Gregory Guillaume, chief designer, Kia Motors Europe.  “The Stinger has nothing to do with being the first to arrive at the destination – this car is all about the journey.  It’s about passion.”

From its sleek front clip through its svelte flanks, and up to its powerful haunches, the Stinger exudes a muscular confidence.  Key to its road presence are the rear-wheel-drive proportions; a long hood and short front overhang, an extended wheelbase to deliver a spacious cabin, and a long rear overhang with strong shoulders.  The Stinger’s stance and visual balance are designed to lend the car an air of elegance and athleticism, rather than boy-racer aggression.

The wide front and rear track, along with the recessed contours along the doors, enhance the visual power of the Stinger’s shoulder line as well as its fastback silhouette.  Other purely functional elements of the exterior design – the front air curtains, wheel arch gills, smooth underbody, and integrated rear diffuser – aid its aerodynamic efficiency.  The rear valance houses four oval exhaust pipes. Kia’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille sits proudly between complex LED headlamps.

The low-slung cabin with its steeply raked windshield and backlight, sits toward the rear of vehicle, creating a fast silhouette.  Inside is a space dedicated to the thrill of driving while cossetting the occupants in luxury.  Available ultra-soft Nappa leather covers the deeply contoured seats and the driver’s seat has available air-cell bladders in the seatback and bolsters for optimal support and comfort.  A confident dashboard creates a strong horizontal plane for the driver to work.  The center console is intuitively split into two specific areas: the infotainment controls sit neatly below a large color touchscreen, while the climate and ventilation controls nestle beneath.   Front and center of the driver is a thick, leather-wrapped steering wheel and a single instrument binnacle with a combination of analog and digital instrumentation.  The large gauges are ringed in metal and accentuated with sweeping red needles.  A color TFT screen between the gauges relays performance data such as cornering G-forces, lap times and engine-oil temperature, along with ancillary information such as the trip computer, driver settings, navigation and diagnostics.  Aeronautically-inspired spoked circular vents are found front and rear and a tasteful satin chrome trim piece encircles the cabin.  The effect is a feeling of cocooned intimacy.  But the long wheelbase allows for generous front and rear leg room and the low seating position provides ample head room front and back.

Chassis
Joining the company from BMW in December, 2014,  Albert Biermann’s first look at the Stinger signaled to him a car that had to live up to its stunning design from behind the wheel.  “I think for the Kia brand, the Stinger is like a special event,” notes Biermann.  “Because nobody expects such a car, not just the way it looks but also the way it drives. It's a whole different animal.”

Setting the manufacturing hard-points of the body-in-white would define Stinger and the engineers looked carefully across a landscape dotted with contenders.  At 114.4 inches, the Stinger’s wheelbase is longer than the Audi A4, Infiniti Q50, Lexus IS, BMW 4 Gran Coupe and even the Lexus GS and Mercedes CLS1.  It’s also longer overall (190.2 inches) and wider (73.6 inches) than the others in the segment, allowing for spacious accommodations.  The Stinger’s cargo area is also larger than many in its class, with enough space for full-size luggage or golf bags and a power liftgate with Smart Trunk functionality is available.   

Riding on a chassis comprised of 55 percent advanced high-strength steel, the Stinger provides an ultra-stiff foundation for the ride-and-handling engineers to work with.  This rigidity also contributes to reduced NVH and a quiet cabin.  The MacPherson front and multi-link rear suspension has been tuned to provide optimal feedback to the driver.  A Kia first, ride-damping and vehicle handling traits may be modified by the driver through an electronically adjustable suspension known as Dynamic Stability Damping Control.  While always reacting predictably to the driver’s inputs, depending on road conditions and driving style, the Stinger can be tuned to respond with more agility through corners as the system softens the front shocks and firms up the rear.  Conversely, improved high-speed stability is achieved when the system stiffens the front shocks and softens the rear.  The system is accessed through five drive modes (another Kia first): Personal, Eco, Sport, Comfort and Smart.  

Standard variable ratio Rack-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS) offers razor-sharp feedback through direct mounting of the electric motor on the steering rack, enhancing steering response and reducing unwanted vibration from transmitting through the column.  Steering boost is also adjustable through the five selectable drive modes.

Powertrain
If the chassis symbolizes the bones of a gran turismo, then surely the available powertrains represent its heart.  Oriented longitudinally and set rearward beneath the long, sculpted hood, a choice of two turbocharged engines are available.

While both engines are still under development, the standard 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder Theta II engine produces an estimated 255 horsepower at approximately 6,200 rpm.  Max torque of 260 lb.-ft. is available from 1,400 – 4,000 rpm.  Performance credentials are further enhanced through the available 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 Lambda II engine, which is anticipated to produce 365 horsepower at an estimated 6,000 rpm and offer max torque of 376 lb.-ft. from 1,300 – 4,500 rpm.  Kia is targeting 5.1 seconds to 62 mph and a top speed of 167 mph with the twin turbocharged V6.

The Stinger features a second-generation eight-speed rear-drive automatic transmission.  First offered in the K900 luxury sedan, the gearbox has been designed in-house and rewards drivers with crisp shifts and maximized fuel efficiency.  More typically found in aviation- and racing-engine applications, the transmission features Kia’s first use of a Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber (CPA) torque converter to help reduce torsional vibrations through the drivetrain.  Drivers can let the gearbox manage shifts on its own or may selectively run through the gears via paddle shifters mounted aft of the steering wheel.  As with the suspension and steering, up to five different shift patterns may be selected through the vehicle’s electronic drive-mode system.  Throttle mapping is also adjusted accordingly.

Recognizing that passionate drivers may not always reside in optimal climes, the Stinger is Kia’s first sedan available with rear- or all-wheel drive.  Rear-wheel biased for optimal control in the wet or dry, the AWD system features a new Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control system which monitors driver inputs and road conditions and automatically applies power and braking force to the appropriate wheels to maintain course in adverse conditions.  Rear-drive vehicles get the benefit of a mechanical limited slip differential to help evenly distribute power through the rear wheels.

A choice of alloy wheels and tires are also offered.  The 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder models ride on 225/45R-18 performance tires while the 3.3-liter V6 is shod with staggered ultra-high performance rubber; 225/40R-19 in front and 255/35R-19 at the rear. Vented Brembo®2 disc brakes are standard on the 3.3-liter twin turbo and feature quad-piston front calipers and dual-piston rear calipers.

Advanced Technology & Convenience
Offering luxurious amenities and unexpected features have become part of Kia’s DNA and the Stinger continues that tradition.  Multiple Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) seamlessly work together to enhance the driving experience.

In the United States, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year3.  This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, and 71,000 injuries annually.  A Kia first is the new Driver Attention Alert (DAA)4 system to help combat distracted or drowsy driving.  The system monitors a number of inputs from the vehicle and the driver and will sound a warning chime and display a graphic in the instrument binnacle that it’s time to take a break from driving if it senses the driver’s attention level has been significantly reduced.

Forward Collision Assistance (FCA)3 with integrated Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)3 with pedestrian detection can detect a potential collision with another vehicle or pedestrian and help bring the car to a halt.  Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC)3 maintains a pre-set distance between the Stinger and the vehicle in front and can bring the car to a full stop in congested traffic.  Lane Keep Assist (LKA)3 actively monitors the vehicle’s intended lane and will alert the driver with an audible warning along with providing steering input to help maintain the vehicle’s position.  Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)3 scans the area behind the vehicle when backing from a parking space and will alert the driver with an audible warning if cross traffic is detected.

Connectivity, entertainment and vehicle information can be as important as a dynamic driving experience and the Stinger comes to market with the latest infotainment systems.  The height-adjustable color Head-Up Display (HUD)5 display enables the driver to see key driving information reflected on the windshield glass, including speed, turn-by-turn navigation, audio and cruise control settings and Blind Spot Detection information.  Resting within the center console is a wireless Smartphone charging pad and Bluetooth®6 hands-free operation is standard while many of the vehicle’s subsystems may be accessed through the steering-wheel-mounted controls.

Long-distance travel is a hallmark of the gran turismo ownership experience and there is a trio of high-performance audio systems designed to turn the interior into a dynamic concert hall as the miles blur by.  The base audio system for the 2.0-liter turbo features six-speakers and a seven-inch haptic touchscreen with the latest version of UVO, Kia’s award-winning telematics systems.  The standard system found in the 3.3-liter twin turbo ups the speaker count to nine and includes an external amplifier.  The available premium Harman/Kardon®7 audio system pumps out 720 watts through an external amplifier to provide crystal-clear music.  With 15 speakers and Kia’s first under-seat mounted subwoofers tucked beneath the driver and passenger seats, the system features Clari-Fi™8, a patented music restoration technology that rebuilds audio signals that are lost in the digital compression process.  This technology returns a high-fidelity listening experience to any compressed digital source.  The system also comes equipped with next-generation QuantumLogic™9 Surround Sound technology, which extracts signals from the original recording and redistributes them into an authentic, multidimensional soundstage for playback that is clear, refined and full of detail.        


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that looks really good! though I was kinda hoping kia would buck the trend and offer a stick as a no-cost option.

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Meh, Looks like all the other fastback coupe design sedans. Such a boring segment. Like the engine specs.

I get what you mean Fap but for the bulk of society, Manuals are dead on arrival. Too few care about the driving experience and just want to brag about specs and get from point A to B.

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I like everything behind the front end. Actually the front end on its own looks alright too. But the kinda donät fit well, the profile is pretty sleek, and few lines, and the front is kinda busy.

oh shit

welp, learning some new stuff so have at it öäöäöäö

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considering it goes up against the ancient 300/charger and nissan's hot mess super bowel deadbeat dadstravaganza maxima, this is arguably one of the best looking vehicles in its class

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I like it, looks like they tried to copy Maserati styling too much from the back, but over all looks good.  Good power and rear drive is a plus.  I wonder how big it is and what it will cost, that is sort of the key thing here.

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1 hour ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

Side window treatment looks like the previous gen Optima...

Agreed, ppl will confuse it with the Optima, you watch.  Tail looks like an Audi A7.  Front looks like a Kia/BMW mashup.  I am all for RWD vehicles though.

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Interesting choice in the name...it makes me think of late 60s-early 70s Mopar names... (Super Bee, Dart GT, Dart Swinger, etc)...

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Just now, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

Interesting choice in the name...it makes me think of late 60s-early 70s Mopar names... (Super Bee, Dart GT, Dart Swinger, etc)...

The name is awesome.  Solar systems better than "K900" or whatever such crap.

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2 hours ago, ocnblu said:

Agreed, ppl will confuse it with the Optima, you watch.  Tail looks like an Audi A7.  Front looks like a Kia/BMW mashup.  I am all for RWD vehicles though.

Well.. it is a Kia/Hyundai.. where original thought in design is non-existent. That being said.. I like the look, because I like the donors' looks. The engine tho.. makes me a bit envious in that GM really needs to ditch the 3.6L NA in their cars and just use different variations of the 3.0L TT and 3.6L TT.  365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet is easily surpassed with a detuned 3.0L which already has 400/400

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I'm all for more RWD cars, and kudos to Kia for taking a chance here. I can't say I have very high expectations for it, however. The Koreans have yet to show me they understand how to get the ride/handling balance right, and the refinement levels just never seem to be up to par.

Maybe this time they got it right.  

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I think it is a great size, a nice mid size car, really long wheelbase for a 190 inch long car.  This is about the size of a gen 1 CTS but with longer wheelbase.  If they price it right it could do quite well.  If they price it like a C-class it is dead.  

I think crossovers ride and handle as well as most Cam Cord Fusions, that people are happy to leave the sedan.  Kia has given people a reason to pick the sedan again.  

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It is still a Kia and it is in a segment of the market that is struggling for companies that even lead in this segment.

Nice car and all but wrong time and place.

Also no self image for the owner as you get with some of the higher end brands. At least not the kind of self image you would really want if you let your purchases reflect upon you. Lets face it that is what sells most German cars.

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If they have a base price around $26k I think they could do well.  For them to be successful they have to target Camry, Altima, and Accord V6 buyers, Mustang and Camaro buyers, Fusion buyers, etc.  They can beat all the front drivers on performance, and offer performance of the 4 and 6 cylinder Pony cars, but with 2 extra doors.  They can succeed there, if they try to price it $35-50k and sell it as 3-series performance, but with more interior room they are dead.  

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The pictures fröm the äutöshöw, äääck, keep using wröng a and o, but äanyways I think Kiä did pretty damn good impersonating every other thing like this in a Kiä Öptimä suit.

I think it is an interesting vehicle, and they had the guts to make it, not many brands dö that anymore, Cadillac does when it comes to their sedans...Jaguar has, Lexus has when it comes to LC and LS, so Kia under Schreyer will do good.

Also, when you have German chief of design, and German powertrain and vehicle engineering people at a Körean make....you are going to get German influence, especially since these guys where stolen from German brands...

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    • By Drew Dowdell
      Kia released an all new version of their Kia Forte compact sedan at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.  Kia wants to be more than just another basic entry in the compact sedan market and is bringing the Forte style and substance up market.
      Aiming for a more sophisticated design, the new Forte pulls on design cues from the Kia Stinger.  A sharper and deeper version of Kia's Tiger nose grille gives way to more expressive hood and fender styling. Inside, the dashboard has been updated to a minimalistic design with a large floating center screen an restrained use of buttons.  An updated infotainment system is now available which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 
      The power train consists of a new, more efficient 2.0 liter 4-cylinder which runs on Atkinson cycle rather than the more common Otto Cycle. Atkinson cycle engines are typically reserved for hybrid-vehicles. The 2.0 is estimated to produce 147hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. This engine can be paired with either a 6-speed manual or a new CVT.  This in-house developed CVT claims to address the issue of "rubber-band feel" often cited as a complaint in other CVTs.  Kia programmed the CVT to have a stepped feel similar to a standard automatic when in heavy acceleration situation.  The new engine and CVT combined contribute to a preliminary estimate of a 3mpg increase in fuel economy combined. 
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      Kia Press Release on Page 2
      ALL-NEW 2019 FORTE MAKES WORLD DEBUT AT NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
       
      Compact Sedan Levels Up with Sophisticated Yet Sporty Design, Advanced Technology, and All-New Efficient Smart Stream IVT
      Forte evolves into a more refined compact with design cues inspired by Stinger Kia’s first in-house designed and built Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT) introduces new line of Smart Stream technologies designed to help increase fuel efficiency and deliver an estimated 35 combined MPG Standard 8-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and Advanced Driver Assistance technologies join Forte’s tech roster DETROIT, January 15, 2018 – Today at the North American International Auto Show, Kia Motors America (KMA) hosted the global debut of the all-new 2019 Forte which enters its third generation with a more sophisticated design and desirable features that transforms one of Kia’s best-selling vehicles into something more than a compact car meant for getting people from one point to another. Thanks to a number of improvements, Forte now offers drivers a higher level of comfort, fuel efficiency and advanced driver assistance technologies that are aimed to make the journey – whether  a short commute or long haul – a more rewarding and decidedly upscale experience.
      The Forte has evolved with a number of visual and feature enhancements, inside and out. The cabin is now more comfortable and “class above,” and integrates new driver assistance technology. In addition, the Forte ups its MPG game with an all-new powertrain that utilizes Kia’s first IVT, set to deliver an estimated 35 MPG combined1.
      “The compact sedan segment is highly competitive, but with all the improvements the new Forte brings to market for the 2019 model year, it is more than prepared to take on the toughest the segment has to offer,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, KMA. “As one of our top-selling models, the all-new Forte follows some large footsteps, but enhancements in styling, packaging and content make it even more attractive to drivers seeking a compact sedan that can accommodate their versatile lifestyle.”
      Standard features and desirable amenities in the compact sedan segment continue to be available across three trims – LX, S and EX – with the model line continuing to expand throughout its lifecycle.
      Sophisticated Yet Sporty Design
      While the third-generation Forte retains its sporty and youthful image, it has graduated to a more sophisticated appearance thanks to a number of sleek and dynamic styling cues inspired by the Stinger fastback sport sedan. Lauded in the auto industry for its excellence in design, the Stinger is a product fueled by Kia’s bold and adventurous spirit and Peter Schreyer’s global team of designers translated elements of the Stinger’s design language onto the compact to give it a commanding road presence. Enthusiasts know that the right proportions are key, and like the Stinger, Forte’s long hood and short deck lend it an overall fastback-like shape. The cowl point was moved back five inches, creating a more athletic stance that makes the Forte appear well-planted to the ground.
      Creases in the hood contribute to the Forte’s muscular appearance and distinctive design traits on the front fascia, including a fresh approach to Kia’s signature tiger nose grille and an aggressive black lower valance, enhance its presence and individual character.  The front clip is flanked by a Stinger-esque headlamp design and layout. Separate turn signal indicators are mounted below on the front bumper, where air curtains improve aerodynamic performance and enhance the Forte’s technical appeal. Around back, the rear bumper gets the same treatment with separate reverse and turn signal indicators located beneath available LED taillights. Similar to the Sportage compact crossover, a sleek horizontal trim piece connects the taillights.
      Comfortable Cabin
      Creating the fastback shape strengthened the Forte’s exterior appearance, but it also gave engineers an opportunity to expand the occupant compartment in several key areas so passengers are treated to a comfortable space no matter how long the journey. Overall length has increased by 3.2 inches to 182.7 inches, allowing for more legroom and additional cargo in the trunk. With 15.1 cu.-ft., cargo room is among the largest in the segment and generous enough to accommodate gear for a group of friends on a road trip or a growing family managing a busy schedule. Additional headroom results from increasing the overall height nearly a half inch to 56.7 inches, while the overall width has grown to 70.8 inches.
      While the extra 0.7 inches of width may not be noticeable to the naked eye, the layout of the dashboard paints a picture of a wide interior space. Again drawing inspiration from the Stinger, a horizontal theme creates a sense of openness and avoids clutter with clean lines and minimal buttons that are intuitively placed below an 8-inch color touchscreen. Aeronautically inspired spoked circular vents adorn the dash and increased soft-touch points create a comfortable and visually appealing cabin. Drivers and passengers alike will appreciate easier ingress and egress, plus improved outward visibility.
      Strong Foundation
      Building upon an already solid structure that helped the current 2018 Forte sedan achieve an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick Plus rating2, the all-new 2019 Forte strengthens its bones with additional hot-stamped components and 54 percent Advanced High-Strength Steel. Stronger seat frames are lightweight and provide a more comfortable seating position with increased lumbar support and denser seat foam for more pleasurable long-distance drives. The all-new Forte offers projection or full LED headlights and is targeted to receive the highest ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and IIHS.
      Because body stiffness plays a major role in NVH performance, engineers worked to increase rigidity for a quieter cabin and better handling tuned to match the Forte’s sporty and dynamic exterior appearance, resulting in a 16 percent stiffer body in white. New subframe designs help to improve lateral responsiveness, while steering feel is upgraded compared to its predecessor’s thanks to enhancements within the Motor Driven Power Steering (MDPS) system that reduce artificial steering feel and friction. Reworked suspension geometry provides a quick and nimble behind-the-wheel feel and evolutionary improvements were made to throttle and brake feel performance, yielding a smoother initial response at tip-in and a shorter stopping distance than the previous model.
      A More Efficient Powertrain
      Housed underneath the Forte’s longer hood is a second-generation 2.0-liter Nu four-cylinder engine that benefits from Atkinson Cycle technology and a cooled EGR system. Typically applied to hybrid and electric vehicles, the Atkinson Cycle and cooled EGR technologies are designed to help boost fuel efficiency. The new powerplant can be paired with either a six-speed manual or Kia’s all-new Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT). The engine and in-house-built IVT are the first of a new line of highly efficient “Smart Stream” powertrains that will make their way into the Kia lineup in the future.
      Waiting before developing Kia’s own continuously variable transmission (CVT) allowed engineers to research issues often associated with CVTs and apply their findings in the application used in the Forte.  One of the main criticisms is that they can create a rubber-band-like feel, and in an effort to address this issue, engineers built the IVT with adaptive style shift logic with a chain-type belt instead of push belt, a first in the compact class. This results in smooth and linear acceleration, and for a more enjoyable and sporty driving experience, a step-shift-like feel mimics a conventional automatic at wide-open throttle or when more acceleration is needed.
      Noise is another issue CVTs can sometimes face and engineers worked hard to reduce this in the Forte by wrapping the transmission case in a sound-insulating cover to help quiet the typical “drone” associated with this tech from other OEMs. In doing so, NVH levels are also reduced by 5dB.
      Horsepower and torque are expected to remain unchanged from the 2018 Forte, delivering an estimated 147 HP and 132 lb.-ft. of torque. Efficiency was the top priority and the IVT, together with the 2.0-liter engine, is estimated to return up to 35 MPG combined, about a 3 MPG improvement over the current vehicle.  Official EPA fuel economy ratings will be announced closer to the Forte’s arrival in the U.S. later this year.
      Brimming with Technology
      Staying connected with advanced technology and infotainment features allows the driver to dedicate their important attention to the road ahead. In that regard, the Forte comes standard with an 8-inch color touchscreen with Android Auto™3 and Apple CarPlay®4 that’s integrated neatly on the dash and within the driver’s line of sight. With select smartphone devices, the system also has the capability to read SMS texts aloud through Bluetooth®5.  Eliminating the need for a charging cord is an available wireless charging6 tray perched up on the center stack for compatible Android7 devices, as well as Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone X.8 
      Another welcome and surprising feature in this segment is an available 320-watt premium sound system developed with Harman Kardon that pumps out music through a unique speaker hole pattern on the door panels and throughout the cabin.
      Kia’s suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)9 offered in many of the automaker’s more expensive vehicles make their way down into the Forte, making it an even more value-laden option for cost-conscious shoppers. In addition to Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW)9 and Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)9, the all-new Forte is available with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA)9 and Smart Cruise Control (SCC)9.Smart Cruise Control is designed to maintain a pre-set distance between the Forte and the vehicle in front and can slow the vehicle slows with traffic in certain circumstances.
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