Kia could be working on a souped-up version of the Forte hatchback for the U.S., a document submitted to the California Air Resources Board from the South Korean car manufacturer reveals, as reported by Carbuzz.
The executive order lists a Forte5 hatchback powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The only 1.6-liter turbocharged engine currently used by Kia in the United States is the 201 hp engine found beneath the skin of the Kia Soul GT.
In addition, the order lists a Forte sedan powered by the same engine in addition to the Forte5 which is likely a hatchback variant. Two of the models listed include smart cruise control while the other two don’t.
Kia currently sells the 2019 Forte in the U.S. exclusively with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine delivering 147 hp mated to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
It is believed that the vehicles being referenced by Kia will be sedan and hatchback variants of the Forte GT unveiled at last year’s SEMA show. The cars listed in the order all come with a seven-speed automatic transmission as standard apart from the sedan which lacks smart cruise control. It is listed with a six-speed manual. The Forte5 is likely to be virtually the same as the 201 hp Ceed GT sold overseas.
Few other details about these more powerful Kia Forte models are known but they will likely be introduced before the end of the year.