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2020 Kia Forte GT Adds Some Zip


William Maley

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Kia has never offered a performance variant of the Forte sedan, tending to reserve that for the coupe and Forte5 hatchback. But that is changing as Kia has introduced the Forte GT sedan at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

The transformation from a stock compact sedan to a sport compact begins under the hood. The 2.0L four-cylinder with 147 horsepower has been swapped for the turbocharged 1.6L four producing 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. This is the same engine found in the Kia Soul ! and Hyundai Elantra Sport. Transmissions include a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch. Kia has also made some handling improvements with the GT trading the standard torsion beam rear suspension for an independent setup. A set of Michelin Sport summer tires with 18-inch alloy wheels are available as an option.

Outside, the Forte GT comes with a number of sporty enhancements such as a black grille with red accents, gloss-black mirrors, new side skirts, and a trunk-lid spoiler. The interior features a flat-bottom steering, alloy pedal covers, and optional sport seats.

No word on pricing, but the 2020 Forte GT arrives at Kia dealers next summer.

Gallery: 2020 Kia Forte GT

Source: Kia


Performance Enhanced 2020 Forte GT With Turbocharged Engine Bows At SEMA Show

  • Exhilarating Forte GT Spruces Up Forte Family
  • Turbocharged engine and sporty suspension setup enhance Forte GT’s on-road prowess
  • Aggressively styled cosmetic upgrades amp up compact sedan’s appearance
  • Forte GT is just one of two new sport trims available for the 2020 model year

LAS VEGAS, October 30, 2018 – At the show that brings together an eclectic mix of wild concepts, high-horsepower muscle cars, and uber lifted trucks, Kia Motors America (KMA) is excited to unveil the 2020 Forte GT, marking the introduction of two exhilarating GT sport trims new to the Forte family of compact sedans. Race-inspired visual upgrades and added premium amenities are just some of the elements that come as part of the GT sport trims, though an available turbocharged engine and sportier suspension setup take the Forte’s performance and fun-to-drive athleticism to the next level. 

“The fantastic capabilities of our team of engineers really shined in the development of the Stinger and we’re thrilled to continue injecting a bit more sport into some of the other models in the lineup” said Orth Hedrick, executive director, Car Planning and Telematics, KMA. “Whether you want a practical commuter or performance compact sedan, there’s now a Forte that appeals to several types of car shoppers. The Forte is already one of our top sellers, and we believe adding more diversity to the model line will appeal to a broader range of consumers.”  

With the new sport additions, the 2020 Forte will be available in FE, LXS, EX, GT Line, and GT trim levels. For those who want the most out of the Forte GT, the trim can be elevated with available GT1 and GT2 packages. Pricing will be announced closer to the 2020 Forte’s on-sale date. 

Amped Up, In and Out

The amount of sport injected into the Forte varies on the GT designation. Characterized by cosmetic upgrades only, the “GT Line” trim spices up the Forte’s presentation with a racier looking gloss black grille offset by red accents. The gloss black treatment is also applied to heated outside mirrors with LED turn signals, sport side sills, and on the rear spoiler perched atop the decklid.

To match the exterior, the interior of the Forte “GT Line” is upgraded with alloy sport pedals and a flat bottom steering wheel with white contrast stitching. Exclusive black sport cloth seats continue the theme with the same color stitching, while front seats gain performance side bolsters to keep occupants firmly ensconced through the corners.

Moving up the ladder, the GT trim is outfitted more aggressively with sport tuned dual exhaust and 18-inch alloy wheels that pop thanks to a GT-exclusive two-tone finish. Standard LED headlights, racier red contrast stitching and Smart Key w/ Push Button Start are also part of the GT treatment, as well as LED ambient interior lighting with an illuminated GT dash inlay. 

Lively Performance and Favorable Convenience

While models wearing the “GT Line” badge keep the naturally aspirated 147-HP 2.0-liter MPI four-cylinder engine and Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT), the higher GT trim takes the Forte’s performance and athleticism to the next level with a DOHC turbocharged 1.6-liter I-4 GDI engine. Output is an estimated 201 HP and 195 lb-ft. of torque which is sent to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission or 7-speed dual clutch transmission (models with the latter transmission receive steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters). A fully independent front and rear suspension, paired with larger front disc brakes and sway bars, deliver better handling and cornering, improved ride quality, and enhanced stability and steering. Befitting a true compact sport sedan, the Forte GT is available with sticky 225/40R-18 Michelin Pilot Sport Summer tires.

A suite of Kia Drive Wise technologies continues to be standard, meaning both GT sport trims are equipped with Forward Collision Warning (FCW)1, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA)1, Lane Departure Warning (LDW)1, Lane Keeping Assist-Line (LKA-Line)1, and Driver Attention Warning (DAW)2.  Opting for the GT1 package adds Blind Spot Collision Warning (BCW)1 with Lane Change Assist (LCA)1 and Rear-Cross Traffic Collision Warning (RCCW)1 to the roster of technologies, while the GT2 package tops it off with the addition of Smart Cruise Control (SCC)1.

Both GT1 and GT2 packages improve the Forte’s interior environment with LED overhead lighting and power sunroof, a 320-watt Harman Kardon ® 3 premium eight-speaker audio system complete with Clari-Fi TM 4 technology, wireless charging5, 4.2-inch center LCD screen and dual-zone full automatic air conditioning. Forte GTs with the GT2 package are further differentiated with heated and ventilated SOFINO GT sport seating and a 10-way power driver’s seat.


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