Hyundai’s i30 N is on its way to our shores to give the hot hatch stable some shakedown.
A report has emerged and it looks like the hot hatch segment is about to get more exciting since Kia is reportedly hard at work working on a Forte5 (Cerato in SA) hatchback that will go head to head with the Volkswagen Golf GTI.
According to Carbuzz, an executive order with the California Air Resources Board allegedly submitted by Kia, there’s a listing for the Forte5 running a 1.6-litre engine. There’s only one such mill in Kia’s wheelhouse, and that’s the 149 kW turbocharged four-pot in the current Kia Soul GT. The find certainly isn’t a smoking gun that a proper hot hatch Kia is imminent.
Forte5 is the same name Kia previously used on the US market Forte hatchback.
Currently, the Forte (Cerato in SA) is no longer listed on Kia SA’s website, however, the local Cerato hatch lineup consists of an entry-level Cerato hatch 1.6 EX, sedan 2.0 EX, available with either a six-speed manual gearbox or six-speed automatic transmission.
The third-generation Cerato sedan was revealed in the United States at the start of 2018 and seems likely to arrive in South Africa.
It still remains unknown if a hatchback version will come to SA.