Yes, we’ve already reported that the new Kia Cerato will ultimately be sold here as the 2014 Kia Forte – but at the time, we only had a pair of renderings to show you. Thanks to the automaker, we now have real, improved photography of the finished product.
From what we can tell, only a little bit of flair has been lost in translation from sketch to reality. As you might expect, that includes a flatter character line and windowsill compared to the concept's arching, diagonal line, and smaller wheels. Most of the car's front fascia is the same between the concept and final product, although the final product has a slightly less aggressive face. Crucially, the slightly flattened rear-end and trunklid retains those oversized, Optima-like taillights.
Kia promises that the final product will also be longer, lower, and wider than the current car, and will use an all-new chassis. There's no word yet about powertrains, so there's a slight chance the new car will soldier on in U.S. markets with the same 156-hp 2.0-liter or 173-hp 2.4-liter I-4 engines.
Kia's new photos were accompanied with a new caption: the company says it's "scheduled to go on sale during the first quarter of 2013…in many overseas markets." If overseas means the U.S.--the caption was posted to the Kia international press site--we may see a new Forte a few months before the 2014-model-year release we predicted last week.