Updated with more pics.
The 2013 Kia Forte was caught by the spy guys from LeftLane testing in the desert. Covered only by light camouflage, the Forte’s new lines are obvious. Gone is Audi-inspired shape seen on the current model. In its place, the Forte will become larger and more organic, looking more like an enlarged version derived from the new Rio.
New design line include more rounded headlamps and an extra window just aft of the A-pillar, draw your attention the new exterior mirrors and the mentioned extra window, “copied” from the new Kia cee’d/K3 (click here to view) and this makes us wonder, if this new Kia cee’d/Forte are a global model, with light modifications?.
At first glance, we thought that the prototype was a Rio, but careful examination of the two reveals some distinct differences like unique C-pillar treatment and, of course, the larger proportions of the compact Forte. Compounding our frustration was the fact that Kia appears to be testing the Forte alongside the subcompact Ford Fiesta, a direct rival to the Rio. It’s hard to say just why this smaller Ford is spending its summer in the desert instead of the larger Focus.
We can’t see the Forte’s interior and we aren’t entirely sure what we’ll find under its hood, but a small displacement turbocharged four-cylinder capable of hitting more than 40 mpg on the highway seems a given. The most miserly Forte currently on offer is the 37 mpg Eco, a model that has been eclipsed by fuel sippers from Chevrolet, Ford and especially Kia’s sibling Hyundai.
And it is Hyundai that will provide Kia with an updated platform for the next-generation Forte. Look for the 2011 Elantra’s multilink rear suspension to finally make an appearance on the Forte, which currently makes due with a less sophisticated torsion-beam setup. Now that this prototype has been spotted, we expect to learn a lot more about the 2013 Forte over the next couple of months.