Continuing its long-term assault on the market, Kia blew the covers off the production version of the Koup concept that was unveiled during last year's New York Auto Show. The Korean automaker's first-ever two door coupe model is based on the new Forte Sedan with which it shares the mechanical hardware as well as the interior design. On the outside, it's another story as Kia has come up with a sharp looking design featuring a lower stance and a series of unique styling cues that differentiate the Koup from the sedan.
And while it's evident that the Kia's small coupe bears a few design similarities with Honda's European Civic hatchback (front) as well as from the Acura RSX (rear), overall, the 2010 Forte Koup looks pretty neat.
"On the heel of the introductions of the Soul and Forte sedan, Forte Koup represents the next exciting step in the transformation of Kia design and offers a blend of sporty and emotional appeal," said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing, KMA. "We believe our new design evolution coupled with standard Kia value and safety features will continue to attract customers to the Kia brand."
Built on the Forte sedan's front-wheel drive platform, the Koup comes with a wheelbase of 104.3 inches, an overall length of 176.4 inches, an overall width of 69.5 inches and overall height of 55.1 inches, meaning that it's slightly shorter in length and height than its four-door counterpart.
Like the Forte sedan, the Koup will be offered with two four-cylinder gasoline engines, a 2.4-liter unit for the EX model producing 156 horsepower and 144 pound-feet of torque and a 2.4-liter unit for the SX that delivers 173 horsepower and 168 pound-feet of torque.
Both models are available with two transmission options, a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission for the 2.0L EX, and a standard six-speed manual transmission and an optional five-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic for the 2.4L SX.
Kia said that the 2.0-liter engine offers 25mpg city and 34 mpg highway with either tranmssion while the more powerful 2.4-liter engine is rated at 22mpg city and 32 mpg highway with the six-speed manual and 23/31 mpg when paired with the five-speed automatic transmission.
Sales in the U.S. are expected to start later in the year.