The 2019 Kia Forte may be a looker, but it certainly isn’t a performer. All that changes, though, with the arrival of the 2020 Kia Forte GT.
Unveiled at the SEMA show, the sporting trim trades the 147-horsepower 2.0-liter inline-four of the standard Forte for a gutsier 201-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four engine that mates to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Accompanying the Forte GT’s additional power are larger front brakes, bigger sway bars, and a new independent rear suspension system that takes the place of the standard car’s low-tech torsion-beam rear end.
Of course, the Forte GT mixes its extra go with appropriate amounts of show, and the model sports an aggressive front fascia with red details, protruding rockers, a rear spoiler, black exterior mirror covers, and available 18-inch two-tone wheels wrapped in sticky Michelin Sport summer rubber. Inside, the model adds alloy pedal covers, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and available sport seats with contrasting piping. Much of the exterior kit will also find its way to the new-for-2020 Forte GT Line, which relies on the less powerful 2.0-liter engine and a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT).
The Forte GT is set to go on sale this summer, and will be offered in GT1 and GT2 trims. While the sportier model is sure to be a more exciting Forte, only time will tell if the new Forte GT has what it takes to battle the likes of the Honda Civic Si and the upcoming Volkswagen Jetta GLI.
Gallery: 2020 Kia Forte GT
2020 Kia Forte GT
Kia will also spread its amazing product looks and muscle inside SEMA with the debut of its new performance Forte, the GT. The Stinger GT took the lead last year and now Kia welcomes the Forte GT. The Forte GT will be offered in GT1 and GT2 packages and is set to go on sale next summer. The GT trim is fitted with a 201-horsepower turbocharged engine, fully independent front and rear suspension and growling sport-tuned exhaust – all direct from the factory to the show floor. Available 18-inch high-performance Michelin Sport summer tires mounted on GT-exclusive two-tone alloy wheels, LED headlights, projector fog lights, GT-exclusive black sport grille with red highlights, gloss black power outside mirrors, sport side sills and rear spoiler help set this hot sedan apart from the crowd. An available 6-speed manual transmission or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, alloy sport pedals, leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel with paddle shifters, elevate the driving characteristics of this compact sedan to all-out sport sedan. Available “Sofino” GT sport seats with contrasting piping and performance side bolsters, an available power sunroof with LED interior overhead lighting, and LED ambient interior lighting with illuminated GT dash inlay advance the performance GT’s vigorous spirit