Korean automaker Kia has revealed the all-new Cerato at the ongoing Detroit motorshow, giving us the first solid look at what to expect when the latest-generation model arrives on our shores sometime this year. In the States it’s known as the Forte, and not only do they get a different name, but with the new model, they also get a different powertrain.
Beneath the skin of the new Cerato you’ll find the same general architecture as the last Cerato, albeit with plenty of refinements made where possible. More of the frame is now made wth hot-stamped components, and the entire thing features more advanced high-strength steel. Coupled to a new subframe design (itself promising better handling), the chassis of the Cerato is said to have been improved by some 16% overall, which goes some way to improving cabin refinement, too.
There’s a new ‘Nu’ engine up front too, measuring 2.0-litres in capacity, running the Atkinson cycle, producing 109kW and 179Nm, a fair bit lower than the 112kW/192Nm we get in our cars. Interestingly, the new Nu engine (sorry) will be paired, in the US, with a CVT automatic gearbox, something that thankfully we also will not be getting.
Our Cerato will stick with the familiar 2.0-litre motor that we already get, paired to the same 6-speed torque-converter automatic. Phew. However, given that the new Cerato is 81mm longer, 18mm wider, and 13mm taller, there’s a strong probability that the new Cerato might not be as frugal as the old one.
Kia claims that the design of the Cerato was heavily influenced by the Kia Stinger, though we can’t see the resemblance. Anywho, the sleek, sloping roofline is definitely a treat, as are the sharp LED light guides at the rear. It’s rather pretty overall, and the X-shaped LED daytime running lights are very distinctive.
The cabin also tries to pull a Stinger by claiming to be a “class above,” by featuring soft-touch materials in obvious places to improve the ambiance to a degree. There are also circular air vents on either end of the dash, inspired by aeronautics, apparently. There’s an enormous 8-inch infotainment screen taking pride placement on the dash, featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto out of the box. And should you wish to appease the inner audiophile, there’s a 320-watt Harman/Kardon audio system available as an option.
The 2018 Kia Cerato is expected to make a local debut a little later this year, coming first as the saloon seen here, followed by a soon-to-be-released hatch variant too. Officials from Kia Australia have confirmed that the new Cerato would be offered in S, Si, Sport+ and GT variants, with the very last option a rather intriguing one. It’s mooted that we may get the 1.6-litre turbo petrol mill (150kW/265Nm) that Kia uses elsewhere, though that is unconfirmed.