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Kia Cerato ‘GT’ under development

By Scott Newman, 18 May 2017 News

2018 Kia Cerato GT cover

Turbo warm hatch to bolster Kia Australia’s performance offerings

Kia Australia has performance aspirations beyond the upcoming Stinger GT, with a fast version of the new Cerato hatch in the pipeline.

An all-new Cerato is expected to arrive in 2018 and the good news for performance fans is that a turbocharged range-topper is part of the plan.

Kia’s boosted offerings have tailed off recently, with the impressive, but manual-only, Proceed GT discontinued due to poor sales and the stylish if underwhelming Koup Turbo recently following it into extinction. Until the Stinger arrives in September 2017, the only Kia with a hope of raising heart rates is the 180kW/350Nm Optima GT.

Kia Cerato KoupThe forthcoming Cerato will succeed where the Proceed GT failed by offering a five-door body shell and automatic transmission. A six-speed manual is a possibility, however with 90 per cent of buyers opting for a self-shifter it’s a low priority.

Under the bonnet there’s likely to be a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, though a larger 2.0-litre is a possibility, while a multi-link independent rear suspension will allow more scope for Kia Australia’s local engineering team to mould the Cerato’s handling and ride to the requirements of local roads.

Kia Proceed GTPrice and positioning is still some way from being confirmed, but we’d expect a Cerato ‘GT’ to rival recent offerings like the Hyundai i30 SR and Holden Astra RS.

Kia’s future performance offerings will all be developed under the watchful eye of former BMW M Division boss Albert Biermann, who also now oversees Hyundai’s standalone N performance brand, however Kia has no plans for a similar sub-brand.