Future Cars

2009 Sneak Preview: New and Future Kia Cars

Just like you, we always want to know what’s coming next from Detroit, Tokyo, Stuttgart, Munich, Los Angeles, and all the other places where automotive engineers and designers dream and scheme on our behalf. Car companies, of course, are loath to share information on new products lest their competitors try to copy them–or you decide not to buy the cars they already have on dealer lots. Car companies, though, are simply groups of people, and some of them have a hard time keeping secrets. So, we poke, we prod, we cajole, and we uncover information that becomes the basis for our annual Sneak Preview issue. As always, some of our information is educated guesswork based on hints, insinuations, hunches. Make no mistake, though, these cars are on their way, even though details may change. Ladies and gentlemen: our list of 136 cars coming over the next few years…

2010 Kia Forte

Kia just launched its first vehicle with real style, the Soul, and next comes a direct challenge to the leaders in the compact car segment. The 2010 Forte replaces the Spectra, and one look at its Honda Civic-esque body clears up any question of its target. But what should really capture Honda’s attention – not to mention that of Toyota, Nissan, and Mazda – are the specs, which include 156-hp and 173-hp four-cylinder engines, with which the Forte will outgun every other car in the segment. And the Forte’s interior looks as upscale as any of its competitors. Clearly, Kia is no longer selling ten-year warranties that happen to come with a car. Although it’s a good bet that the Forte’s biggest, um, forte will be its price.

2011 Kia Amanti The current Amanti is a comfortable, feature-packed car compromised by sloppy driving dynamics and an amateurish take on Jaguar styling. Spy shots of the car’s replacement, though, show a far more serious effort. A sleek roofline, projector headlamps, and LED taillights peek through its camouflage. Rumors have it getting a new V-6 and optional Haldex all-wheel drive.

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