Kia Forte

Kia Forte

The TopSpeed.com Podcast is back, and we have new recording equipment! That means we sound better than ever, and to celebrate we talk even longer than ever. Actually that last part was a tiny mistake, but we ended up with a full 90-minute show packed with awesome stuff for you guys. Hope you don’t mind.

Porsche 918 Spyder's Order Book and Colors are Drool-worthy

In this week’s Weekly Wheels, Mark and Justin had some competing compacts with the Toyota Corolla and the Kia Forte respectively. I came into the fray with the entertainment side of the party in the 2014 Porsche Cayman S .

News stories cover the Golf R Wagon spy shots, Alfa 4C updates , a new special edition car from Hennessey and the death of the Caterham/Renault alliance . We also cover Ford’s plans to recreate a PR stunt from the ’60s and the potential for a 400 horsepower, four-cylinder Porsche .

We had a few questions to go over in the Q/A section thanks to all of you awesome listeners out there including how we got into the business, what cars we think didn’t get enough love in the last decade and we discuss if hybrid is the way to go for supercars.

We wrap up the show with a brand new segment called Drive, Own, Burn. We get a choice of three cars; one we have to own forever, one car we get to drive once, and one car we have to burn outright and never get to touch. To continue with the Hybrid supercar theme, our choices were the Ferrari LaFerrari , McLaren P1 and the Porsche 918 . Unsurprisingly, none of us quite agree, and Mark and Justin got it wrong.

If you enjoy the show, or have any questions, please let us know in the comments. You can also contact us via Email Podcast@TopSpeed.com, and we have a new Twitter handle as well: @TopSpeedPodcast.

Hosts: Christian Moe, Justin Cupler, Mark McNabb
Weekley Wheels: Porsche Cayman S, Kia Forte EX, Toyota Corolla

Much like its sister company, Hyundai, Kia has been designing cars that not only offer its customers low-cost options to higher-priced brands, but also cars that offer high-quality workmanship and stylish appearances. We all knew that the Kia Forte is going to be up for a significant redesign when its 2014 model year debuts at the 2012 LA Auto Show, but we were not too sure what direction Kia would take it.

But now that the covers have been officially pulled and we have our answer.

We want to say that the Forte blew us away, but that just wouldn’t be fair to it. Sure, there are things about it that we like, but some elements of the car still leaves a lot to be desired. Then again, a car like the Forte, or any other in this segment for that matter, isn’t subject to an all-or-noting affection level.

There are things about it we liked. There are things we didn’t like. At the end though, the Forte received good marks from us because the things we liked outweighed the things we didn’t like.

Not by much. But hey, that’s still worth some salt to us.

Updated 02/24/2014: TopSpeed editor in chief, Justin Cupler, spent a week with a Kia Forte EX with all sorts of goodies installed. Did he love it? Check out the "Driving Impressions" section after the jump.

Find out what we think of the new 2014 Kia Forte after the jump

Posted on by TB +  

The Kia Forte5 is the forthcoming hatchback variation of last year’s new Forte sedan but packs some interesting and timely updates that make this one of the few hot hatches offered in the U.S. market. The highlights include a powerful turbocharged engine, sophisticated front and rear LED lighting, and a cabin with some boy-racer appeal via carbon-fiber-style surfaces and a six-speed manual box.

Let’s face it: hot hatches just aren’t sexy here. As much as our Euro counterparts get excited about the Fiesta ST , there’s a collective “huh?” in U.S. showrooms over the same car. It just seems too tall, too narrow and diminutive for someone to commit to years of payments. The Honda Civic Si is about as close to the recipe as possible and even this is only offered in staid sedan or also-staid coupe bodywork.

This is set to change with the new Forte5. The name is the dorkiest part: the style of low, crisp and wide proportions makes this car look more like a slammed Sportage or Cayenne than an econobox. The mechanical packages on the Kia show a half-step improvement versus corporate sibling Hyundai , with the turbo engine finally delivering some of the sportiness Kia says defines its products.

So where does the Forte5 site within the Forte line that also includes sedans and coupes? Right in that hot-hatch sweet spot, just moved a little further toward “cool” from the embarrassing current hatchbacks: the Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Spark .

Click past the jump for the full review of the Forte5 ahead of its arrival in U.S. dealers at the end of summer 2013.

Posted on by David Hurth  

At the 2013 New York International Auto Show , Kia has debuted the 2014 Kia Forte Koup SX. The car promises much better performance over the standard model as well as a sportier look and feel.

With the debut of this new performance-minded model, Kia is hoping to give buyers interested in a Kia Forte a much sportier option. This model will have a more aggressive appearance and promises better performance to back up the looks. With this new performance-oriented model, Kia’s gunning for other sporty coupes from Europe and Japan.

The more powerful engine in the SX model should lead to a better 0-to-60 mph time. Because of the added power, the new model will require bigger brakes that will be housed by enlarged wheels that help fill out the wheel arches nicely. The more aggressive styling combined with the better performance seems to add up to a pretty impressive model.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2014 Kia Forte Koup SX.

Compared to his Justice League contemporaries, Cyborg is without question the least recognizable superhero among the five that were used as inspirations on the Kia -DC collaboration that are being displayed at SEMA . Despite not having movies like Batman and Green Lantern, or not having stand-alone cartoons like Flash and Aquaman, Kia and DC Entertainment, together with RIDES Magazine, still gave the half human/half machine superhero for the modern ages an appropriate tribute.

Using the Kia Forte 5-Door as the platform, RIDES Magazine began the project by using an Aztec Silver paint job on the body of the car, a testament to the shiny chrome digs of Cyborg’s actual armor. Red LED lights were also installed into the newly added side ports because, you know, one of Cyborg’s eyes is red. Other exterior elements include a vented air scoop on the hood, a new set of 18" Rotiform TMB wheels with a chrome lip and red anodized bolts, a coil over suspension to give the Forte more aggressive maneuverability, and widened custom metal fenders that alludes to Cyborg’s ability to mechanically morph to face any adversary.

Inside, red perforated leather and red suede are visibly present throughout the cabin. The Cyborg emblem likewise features red and silver trim highlights, which is also visibly featured in the Forte’s interior design. There’s also a tablet on the center console because like Cyborg, this Forte 5-Door is always connected and ready to spring into action. The final touch inside the Forte is the JL Audio sound system.

Kia’s partnership with DC Entertainment to raise awareness for the latter’s We Can Be Heroes campaign against hunger in the Horn of Africa apparently extends further than the recent Optima "Batmobile" we saw a week ago.

Turns out, the Korean automaker has another superhero-inspired model headed to the 2012 SEMA Auto Show . Together with the fellas over at West Coast Customs, Kia brought the Forte Koup "Flash" at Las Vegas.

Considering that there’s no car in the automaker’s entire line-up that can really give justice to The Flash and his lightning speed super powers, we’re not going to hold it against Kia. After all, the Forte Koup Flash actually looks sizzling. The red, orange, and yellow airbrushed exterior color is a trademark of Flash’s costume. The hood also bears the iconic Flash logo with a cutout right in the middle, allowing everybody to see the kind of engine this bad boy packs. A custom coil over suspension was also added, effectively improving the Forte Koup Flash’s handling while a new set of 20" Asanti color-matched wheels wrapped in Continental Extreme Contact tires.

Inside, the Forte Koup Flash’s seats have been reupholstered in black nappa leather with contrasting red suede and yellow stitching. Character artwork has also been embroidered into the seats. Likewise, the headliner also gets black suede upholstery with custom stitching and custom-painted pieces. West Coast Customs also installed two, 10" sub woofers and two sets of coaxial component speakers with a Quart four-channel amp. Finally, a pair of 7" Rosen Entertainment monitors plays a "We Can Be Heroes" campaign video in the front headrests.

Kia ’s presence at the 2011 SEMA Auto Show has been all about sports-inspired cars. The Optima Hybrid Griffin featured a basketball theme and the Kia Forte Hat Trick comes complete with a hockey theme, named after the act of a player scoring three goals in a single match. That feat is then followed by fans throwing their hats onto the ice.

Speaking of ice, the Forte Hat Trick is painted in a custom ice-metallic gray exterior paint and sits on a new set of 19" blue alloy wheels. Developed by Antenna, the car has also received a custom body kit and Forte Koup front bumper with carbon fiber accents and LED "hockey stick" fog lights, a quad-tipped exhaust, carbon fiber roof material, and a lowered suspension. The headliner features a built-in hockey coach’s play board and the rear cargo area features built-in compartments that house four carbon fiber hockey sticks and two jerseys color matched to the exterior of the car.

The interior also received a sporty makeover with two bucket seats with custom upholstery, custom-molded sports bottle drink holders in the center console, and a mini air hockey table mounted in the rear hatch area. The coolest part about the interior is the TVs mounted in the front seat headrests and wired to a Microsoft X-Box video game console featuring EA Sports NHL12 video game.

Updated 11/09/2011: Look in the picture gallery for new real life images of the Kia Forte Hat Trick from its official debut at the SEMA Show.

Posted on by Matt McDonald 21

Throughout the past several weeks the economy of the United States and other large importers of oil have struggled to maintain positive amidst the turmoil in the middle-east. Civil unrest and pressure have led to a decrease in oil production and increase in the price for a single barrel. We have seen prices reach the $100 mark and beyond, and there are no signs of a ceiling.

These two year highs for the price of crude oil have led to OPEC releasing more supplies from our reserves, but it has not quelled the price hike. California is currently suffering from the highest prices nationwide and they have reached within a cent of $4.00 per gallon for regular unleaded. This has put added strain on a struggling economic environment for many people and, if this continues, it will drag our economy further down. With cars like the Toyota Prius and other hybrids hitting the market every week, it is good to see that the manufacturers are realizing that gasoline will not be the answer to our future problems.

The major auto shows and car introductions across the world, including the biggest in the United States, Detroit, are where auto manufacturers try to sell the public hot-air. Most of the amazing and futuristic concept cars are so far on the other side of being a production possibility they might as well be alien. The recent economic climate across the world has shifted the car companies in a new direction and the consumer continues to pull them even further. People are eager for cars that are economical and exciting – most people enjoy driving, just not having to pay $4.00 per gallon to do it.

Kia brought a hybrid version of the Forte sedan to this year’s SEMA Auto Show with the intent to show the world that a compact hybrid sedan can be anything but boring. The model revealed in Las Vegas is just a concept, but if enough customers show enough interest in this hybrid concept, then we can’t imagine that Kia wouldn’t run to the production line with this one.

The hybrid concept was designed by Kinetic Motorsports and its hybrid system combines a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine fueled by liquefied petroleum gas (propane) and lithium polymer battery with accentuated design characteristics, including body panel enhancements and a lowered stance, to create a one-of-a-kind personality for the environmentally-friendly sedan.

The package is finished by cast aluminum alloy wheels and low-rolling resistance tires for improved fuel economy and reduced road noise. On the inside, interior panel treatments feature custom enhancements, while a 1200 watt Infinity®2 audio system will entertain passengers.

Press release after the jump.

Kia’s smallest car, the Forte, will be coming to the 2010 SEMA Auto Show in what looks to be a future special edition model. Okay, so Kia says it’s only a concept, but the future for the Forte Koup Type R Concept, which was inspired by the company’s first season of racing in the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, is very bright. The concept was designed by Kinetic Motorsports, who built and campaigns Kia’s Forte Koup race cars.

The Type R Concept gets a matte gray exterior paint job that works with enhanced exterior panels to make the front fenders, rocker panels, and rear quarter panels appear longer. BBS RG 18-inch forged aluminum alloy wheels and racing-inspired tires along with a modified front end add to the overall look of the car.

The interior of the Type R now offers custom seat/door treatments as well as a few ergonomic improvements for the driver. Other additions include a short throw shift kit with Kinetic gear shift knob and carbon inlay, and a dampened composite fiber disc clutch.

Press release after the jump.


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