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Future models - Kia - Koup

New York show: Kia Oz mulls turbo Koup

Final piece: The Koup will round out Kia’s second-generation Cerato range in Australia during the fourth quarter of this year.

Aussie roll-out of all-new Cerato line-up to conclude in Q4 when Kia flies the Koup

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Kia logo28 Mar 2013

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

KIA has finally given its Cerato Koup the go to match its show, as the second-generation model unveiled at the New York motor show overnight shares the hatchback’s 150kW/265Nm 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine.

The powerplant is also found under the bonnet of Kia’s European-sourced Pro_cee’d GT hot hatch – set to launch in Australia early next year – and the Veloster SR Turbo from Kia’s sister company Hyundai.

Although the engine is not confirmed to appear on Koups sold Down Under, Kia Motors Australia public relations general manager Kevin Hepworth told GoAuto a force-fed variant is “being actively discussed by the product guys”.

Following the sedan (launched next month) and hatch (July), Kia will fly the Koup in the fourth quarter of this year to complete the new Cerato line-up.

The Californian-designed Koup retains the current model’s well-received proportions and notchback-style silhouette while complementing the chiselled face and narrow grille of the hatch with a bigger lower air intake and raked windscreen angle.

Compared with the outgoing Koup, the new car's wheelbase has been extended 50mm, providing shorter overhangs, while the roof height has been slightly lowered.

Turbocharged variants declare their performance intent with more aggressive styling comprising a bigger front bumper with enlarged air intakes, gloss black grille inserts, carbon-fibre look trim for the front splitter and rear valance and twin chrome exhaust tips.

Behind the 18-inch alloy wheels are larger front brakes, while inside are alloy sports pedals and carbon-fibre style accents on the front and rear seats.

Both Koup variants have a sportier suspension setup than the sedan, although the hatch unveiled at the Chicago motor show in February was also described as coming with a sports chassis setup.

Entry-level US Koup variants will come with a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated direct-injection petrol engine tied exclusively to a six-speed auto.

Australian Koups are confirmed to come with this 132kW/209Nm engine – which punches above its weight for a naturally aspirated petrol – and it will also serve as the top engine on the Cerato sedan and hatch.

In the US, where the Cerato is badged Forte, turbocharged thrills will be exclusive to the flagship variant, driving the front wheels through a six-speed manual or automatic transmission with paddle-shifters.

The Pro_Cee'd GT will be available with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and GoAuto understands the Turbo Koup could get the dual-clutch unit if a decision was made to import it.

Also on the Kia stand at New York were the facelifted Optima mid-size sedan and boxy, high-riding second-generation Soul small car, which will both hit Australian showrooms in the first half of next year.

Kia has sold 2697 Koups in Australia since it went on sale in August 2009, averaging 69 units per month, with a peak of 129 sales in May 2011.

Year-to-date results have been below average, with 36 sold in January and 37 in February.

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