The Montreal International Auto Show continues to run until tomorrow at the Palais des Congres. Here are a couple of vehicles from Kia that premiered at this year’s edition.
Kia Canada had their new 2014 Forte compact sedan on display, the first time it’s been seen in Canada. It should be in dealerships by this spring. As one of Kia’s best-selling models, you can bet they gave the Forte a lot of attention when they were redesigning it. It’s apparently wider, longer, and lower than the previous models (seems to be a trend with several cars this year) and the wheels have been pushed to the corners to increase the wheelbase. Different wheel sizes are available, from 15 to 17 inches. Wraparound LED taillights help set it all off.
There are two new engine choices available, a 1.8 litre four-cylinder mated to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, rated at 148 horsepower, and a 2.0 litre Gasoline Direct Injection engine with 173 horsepower. This second option is available with paddle shifters. The Forte also gives you three steering settings to choose from as well, comfort, normal, and sport.
There are lots of goodies available for the interior as well, both standard (Bluetooth, satellite radio, and a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, among others) and options such as driver’s memory seat, heated rear seats (could definitely use those), and even an air ionizer. Safety hasn’t been forgotten, either. The Forte’s body has been stiffened, it comes with six standard airbags, and a host of control and stability features including hill assist and vehicle stability management.
Kia generally also shows off a concept car at the Montreal Auto Show and this year was no exception, with the Track’ster on display. It may be the future, or at least one future, of the Kia Soul coupe. It’s certainly eye-catching, with its white and orange exterior. There’s more orange inside. According to Tom Kearns, Kia Motors America’s chief designer, “The idea was to make the Track’ster tough looking, like a bulldog.” Its sportiness is set off with LED headlights and fog lights, carbon fibre trim, and 19 inch front and back wheels paired with Brembo disc brakes.
Under the hood is a 2.0 litre turbocharged inline-4 engine mated with a short-throw 6-speed manual transmission. Naturally, it’s four-wheel drive and has a lowered sport suspension. The front has suede-covered racing seats. In back, instead of seats, you’ll find an equipment tray and space for a spare tire. Lots of room for racing gear, and a rear strut brace with quick-release handle for rapid tire changes. Hmm. Sounds like a good vehicle for the Targa Newfoundland.