Domestic-market K3 GT previews what to expect from turbocharged sedan and hatch when they arrive in Australia by early 2019.
The new Kia K3 GT has been fully revealed in its home market of Korea, including the first images of the hotted-up sedan version.
Known locally as the Cerato, and in North America as the Forte, the K3 GT sedan and hatchback bring subtle sporty upgrades inside and out, along with the 150kW/265Nm 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine as the Hyundai i30 SR.
Compared to regular versions of the K3, GT models get a sportier front grille with red accents, black mirror caps, 18-inch alloy wheels (similar to that of the Euro-market Ceed GT and Proceed GT), side skirts, and a diffuser-style rear bumper insert with dual tailpipes.
Inside, there's perforated leather sports seats with red pinstriping and "GT" branding, a flat-bottomed 'GT' steering wheel, red top-stitching throughout the cabin, and configurable ambient interior lighting in a dot pattern on the front door trims.
Versions fitted with the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic also get steering-mounted paddle-shifters. A six-speed manual is also available.
As for safety features, the Korean-market K3 GT gets autonomous emergency braking, driver attention monitoring, lane-keep assist, and high-beam assist.
Power comes from the aforementioned 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, making 150kW of power at 6000rpm, and 265Nm between 1500 and 4500rpm, sending drive to the front wheels via a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Fuel consumption is rated at 8.2L/100km on the Korean combined testing cycle for both the manual and auto versions.
The GT model also picks up a multilink rear suspension setup compared to the standard version's more basic torsion beam rear axle.
Speaking with CarAdvice in June, Kia's local division confirmed it would bring the Cerato GT Down Under around the same time it launches the wider hatchback range – scheduled for some time during the fourth quarter of 2018 or very early 2019.
If Kia decides to follow Hyundai's lead, the performance duo could be offered in both manual and DCT guises, though it's unclear whether Kia will elect to bypass the full suite of driver assistance technologies on the former as per the i30 SR.
Pricing is yet to be confirmed, though a high-$20,000 figure is our guess. Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest, and click here for more images.