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by Tim Beissmann

Sketches purporting to preview the all-new Kia Cerato have appeared online overnight.

Enthusiast website Kia World claims the image previews “Kia’s next-generation C-segment sedan”, known as the Cerato in Australia and the Forte in a number of other markets, including North America.

Kia Australia told CarAdvice the sketches have not been created by the Korean manufacturer however, with Kia Design Centre Namyang confirming they were “made by someone outside of Kia”.

The unofficial sketches reveal a compact sedan that would stylistically fit comfortably in Kia’s product line-up between the Rio city car and the Optima medium-sized car. It incorporates the characteristic ‘tiger nose’ grille of Kia chief designer Peter Schreyer, as well as a strong shoulder line and slim taillights.

The current Cerato is based on the platform that underpinned the previous Hyundai Elantra. That vehicle was produced between 2006 and 2010. Today’s Cerato was launched in 2008, and if it has a similar production life to the old Elantra, it will be due to shift to the new platform in 2012. Kia World supports this notion, claiming the all-new model is “set to make its official debut in 2012”.

The Kia Cerato is enjoying a strong year in 2011 locally, with sales increasing 78 per cent in the first 11 months compared with the same period in 2010 (5717 vs 3208). Its share of the sub-$40,000 small segment has increased from 1.5 per cent to 2.7 per cent.




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