Kia Product Manager Says a “More Exciting” Forte is Coming
Kia revealed the redesigned Forte at this year’s Detroit auto show, showing off the compact sedan’s sleeker look, as well as an updated powertrain and a tech-heavy interior. But while mainstream buyers will probably appreciate the standard 8.0-inch touchscreen and 35 mpg combined fuel economy, a compact sedan with 147 hp and a CVT is unlikely to get anyone’s heart racing. According to one Kia employee, though, there’s a more interesting version of the Forte on the way.
During an interview at this year’s Detroit auto show, Derrick Ty, the product manager for the Kia Forte, told us, “We’re not done with Forte, so we have more exciting products.” We were briefly interrupted before he could say much more, but a few minutes later, he started over. “So with Forte, we’re not done,” Ty said. “We have more exciting products that are coming that I can’t speak of.”
Without explaining what he meant by “exciting,” he continued. “Well, I mean, you’ve asked certain questions, and if you think back a couple of them to note—I’m not going to say which ones—there’s a pretty good thing coming our way. It’ll be pretty exciting for the next few years. I mean, I’m already excited as it is with the Forte the way it turned out. It’s a taste of what’s to come.”
Interestingly, our earlier conversation had focused on the Stinger’s liftback and whether or not future Kias might get the same treatment. We can’t know exactly what Ty meant, but it sounded like the upcoming “more exciting” Forte he was talking about might get some sort of hatch or Stinger-like liftback.
Sure, he could be talking about the return of the Forte5 hatchback, but a relatively conventional hatchback is more practical than exciting. But what if Ty was hinting at a Forte variant inspired by the Proceed concept we saw in Frankfurt last year? The Proceed was a low, sleek five-door that Kia proposed could join the Cee’d family of small cars sold abroad, a model series that’s closely related to our Forte. The concept featured dramatic styling that made it look more like a shooting brake than a hatchback. It didn’t have a powertrain, but Gregory Guillaume, Kia’s head European designer, said it was created due to demand for “performance alternatives to the three-door hot hatch.” That certainly sounds exciting to us.
If such a car were to actually happen, hopefully, it will come with a power boost, as well. The 201-hp 1.6-liter turbo found in the Veloster Turbo might work, but we’d much prefer the Veloster N‘s 275-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter. When asked if that engine could hypothetically fit in the Forte, Ty said, “Size-wise, sure,” but he quickly pointed out that doing so would require more changes to the chassis, as well.
Still, regardless of what this new version of the Forte ends up being, Kia’s got us keeping an ear out for Forte news for the first time in a while.