To coincide with the unveiling of the all-new Kia Forte sedan in the USA today (Wednesday) at the LA Motor Show, Kia has revealed details of the version for other export markets outside of North America, the all-new Kia Cerato. This model is scheduled to go on sale during the first quarter of 2013 at Kia dealerships in many countries around the world.
Kia’s most successful seller in overseas markets, the Cerato has achieved more than 2.5 million global sales since its introduction in 2004, including 445,000 units in 2011 when it accounted for 17.9% of Kia’s total worldwide sales.
Now, the third-generation Cerato boasts sleeker styling with ‘dynamic muscularity’ in a design that is longer, lower and wider than the current car, with an extended wheelbase. It also features an all-new bodyshell, upgraded equipment, a host of additional convenience and safety features, a more spacious cabin with enhanced quality, improved refinement and an upgraded powertrain line-up that delivers class-leading performance and fuel economy.
“Cerato has become our brand’s biggest-selling export vehicle, so the introduction of this third-generation model is a major event for Kia,” commented Thomas Oh, Kia’s Executive Vice President & COO of the International Business Division.
“We are raising our game once again with the all-new Cerato, which adds emotional appeal to its core values of design, quality and value. It will surely boost our competitiveness in the compact car segment, one of the world’s most important and fiecely fought marketplaces.
“All-new Cerato is hugely significant for Kia, as it is a bold demonstration that we continue to be determined to deliver cars which exceed customer expectations and provide a rewarding ownership experience,” added Mr. Oh.
Designed at Kia’s American Design Center in Irvine, California under the direction of Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, the new Cerato has cab-forward styling, a coupe-like roofline, distinctive concave door contours and a rising beltline with chrome molding extending into the C-pillar to project an aura of elegance. Careful attention to surface detailing and airflow-smoothing panels beneath the car have cut the sedan’s aerodynamic drag to Cd 0.27 (down from 0.29).
Compared with second-generation, new Cerato is 30 mm longer (4560 mm), 14.0, 15.0 or 16.5 mm lower (1435, 1445, or 1460 mm) depending on market* and 5 mm wider (1780 mm), with the wheelbase extended by 50 mm (2700 mm) to become the longest in class – now the same as Kia’s Sorento SUV. Trunk capacity is increased to 421 liters (SAE) – the largest in class.
Nature’s flowing shapes inspire cabin design
The interior design of new Cerato concentrates on sportiness and adopts nature’s ebbs and flows as a motif. The sweeping curve of the center stack is reinforced by carbon-look trim and for enhanced elegance, soft-touch materials are applied to the upper and center door trims, dashboard, and door armrests.
Interior comfort is enhanced by lowering the cabin floor and the seats (by 26 mm front and 20 mm rear), and by fitting wider front seat cushions with an increased cushion angle for greater thigh support. A choice of black one-tone and gray two-tone cloth or leather upholstery, and two optional ‘color packs’ featuring brown and black or white and black leather, will be offered.
Available options (depending on model) include 10-way powered and ventilated driver’s seat, heated front and rear seats, leather upholstery, powered glass tilt-and-slide sunroof, smart keyless entry with engine start/stop button, Xenon headlamps, Bluetooth® hands-free system with remote controls, manual and dual-zone climate control automatic air-conditioning.
Upgraded powertrains boost fuel economy
In most export markets outside of North America, new Cerato customers will be offered a choice of two gasoline powerunits – Kia’s 161 ps 2.0-liter Nu engine (power up 3.2%) and the popular 130 ps 1.6-liter Gamma engine (power up 4.8%).
Every all-new Cerato model features a six-speed transmission, which together with the lightweight aluminum engines, enable new Cerato to deliver a highly competitive combination of class-best power with modest fuel consumption and low emissions.
New Cerato can accelerate to 100 kph (62 mph) in as little as 8.5 seconds, reach a top speed of 210 kph (130 mph) and achieve a combined cycle fuel consumption figure of 6.5 l/100 km – depending on model.
A smoother ride with enhanced safety
While the specification of the new Cerato’s suspension is unchanged, it has been fine-tuned to improve agility, shock absorbance and refinement. The suspension’s geometry is modified to deliver improved steering feel.
To maximize occupant protection the new bodyshell incorporates 63% of high-strength steel with three additional cross members and greatly strengthened B-pillars. Torsional rigidity of the bodyshell is increased by 37% (over the previous model), improving safety, refinement, ride comfort and steering precision.
Following the introduction of the all-new Cerato sedan, five-door hatchback and two-door coupe variants of the new generation model will go on sale in the second half of 2013. A wagon version will not be built.
* Austrailia: 1435 mm; Remaining non-North America/Korea markets:1445 mm; Brazil Flex Fuel vehicle: 1460 mm