SOME shove now matches the show for Kia's Cerato Koup.
A new 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine has been added to the range starting from $27,990, while a $23,990 normally aspirated 2.0-litre petrol is the entry level offering - an increase of $600 over the outgoing base model.
It's the most powerful car in this segment on the Australian market for less than $30,000.
The Cerato Koup Turbo is five grand cheaper than the Veloster SR Turbo from sister company Hyundai which starts at $32,990. Although the Veloster has a strong specification list, and the equivalent range-topping Koup costs $32,390 with an automatic transmission.
With the force-fed donk under the bonnet, Kia's Cerato Koup Turbo will sprint from standstill to 100kmh in 7.4 seconds (auto box). The self-shifting 2.0-litre petrol takes 8.9 seconds.
Kia Motors Australia's chief operating officer, Tony Barlow said the Koup has an all-new bodyshell structure, improved quality, upgraded equipment with a host of additional convenience and safety features, along with a more spacious cabin with enhanced quality.
"There had also always been the question mark over whether the performance of the Koup matched its exciting looks. The arrival of the new 1.6-litre Turbo with 150kW makes that question redundant," he said.
Mr Barlow said while customers who felt they did not need the extra urge of a Turbo would be well served by the 129kW naturally aspirated 2.0-litre GDi option, the halo value of the Koup Turbo could not be overestimated.
"It brings with it a new sense of excitement and freshness to a brand," Mr Barlow said.
"And this is just the start. With the Koup Turbo filling the classic grand tourer role, next year will see the arrival of a focused performance line in the pro_cee'd GT."
Compared with its predecessor, new Cerato Koup is 50mm longer (4530mm), 15mm wider (1780mm) and 10mm higher (1410mm). The wheelbase has been extended by 50mm (to 2700mm).
Except for the hood and front fenders, every exterior panel on the new Koup is unique to this model.
You can spot this variant from the previous offering via the Kia badge on the panel in front of the shortened bonnet (rather than the grille). Turbo models feature a dark chrome front grille, carbon-look bumper garnish and front fog lamps with added LEDs.
The new Koup also has frameless doors, flush side glazing, along with either 17-inch (Si) or 18-inch alloys (Turbo). Turbos have black-high-gloss door mirrors, door handles (with chrome inserts) and added body-colour side-skirts.
Koup's rear view includes a two-tone bumper features a matt black diffuser on the Si and a high-gloss feature on the Turbo, flanked by red reflectors framed in black.
Front overhang has been reduced by 15mm, while the rear overhang is 15mm larger, helping to deliver a 433 boot (the opening is also 60mm wider).
Rear space has improved, including headroom (up 28mm), legroom (up 51mm) and shoulder room (up 15mm).
Despite the larger external dimensions, the Koup is slightly more slippery with an aerodynamic drag reduced to Cd 0.30 (down from 0.31).
It's available in six colours - red, blue (standard); white, black, silver and metal (premium).
The Si model gets 17-inch alloys with a full-size alloy spare, the full safety suite, six airbags, front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry, six-way driver's seat adjustment, 60:40 split fold rear seats, rear view camera, six-speaker MP3 compatible CD player and radio, Bluetooth connectivity, air-conditioning, rear air vent and paddle shifts on automatic variants.
Turbo derivatives gain 18-inch wheels, enhanced 16-inch brake package, LED rear combination lamps, LED daytime running lamps, alloy sports pedals, cooling glovebox, electrochromic rear view mirror, cloth seat with artificial leather bolsters, smart key with push button start and welcome lights.
An optional Touring Pack will also be available for the Turbo with leather trim seats, satellite navigation, DVD player, colour 17.7cm touch-screen and dual-zone climate control air-conditioning.
Model: Kia Cerato Koup.
Details: Two-door front-wheel drive compact coupe.
Engines: 2.0-lite four-cylinder petrol generating maximum power of 129kW @ 6500rpm and peak torque of 209Nm @ 4700rpm; 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol 150kW @ 6000rpm and 265Nm @ 1750-4500rpm.
Transmissions: Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.
Consumption: 2.0-litre - 7.3 litres/100km (manual, combined average), 7.4 (auto); 1.6-litre - 7.7 (m), 8.0 (a).
CO2: 2.0-litre - 175g/km (m), 177g/km; 1.6-litre - 184g/km, 190g/km.
Bottom line: 2.0-litre Si $23,990 (m), Si $26,190; 1.6-litre Turbo $27,990 (m), $30,190 (a); 1.6-litre Turbo with Touring Pack $30,190, $32,390 (a). Premium paint add $520.
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