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Kia Cerato GT turbo coming to Australia soon

Kia Australia has announced it’s working on a replacement for the Proceed GT, and the 150kW Kia Cerato GT turbo should arrive Down Under next year.

A FASTER Kia Cerato GT is coming next year to replace the much-loved Proceed GT within local showrooms, complete with a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

That is the word from Kia Motors Australia product planning manager Roland Rivero, who has said that the local engineering team are working between South Korea and its Sydney headquarters on the warm performance model.

Compared with the just-launched, 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder entry-level versions that use a basic torsion bar rear suspension, the 1.6-litre turbo Cerato will also pick up an independent rear suspension (IRS) and around 150KW of power and 265Nm of torque.

“Soon and very soon there will be a halo warm hatch variant [of Cerato] to come,” Rivero told Practical Motoring at the launch of the all-new Cerato in Adelaide.

“It will feature independent rear suspension, a 1.6-litre turbo GDi and a unique suspension tune that we believe will enhance the Cerato brand. Anyone that does miss – me included – the Proceed GT of old, will appreciate what we have brought into the picture.”

Asked whether the Cerato GT will come in both bodystyles, the product planning manager replied: “We wouldn’t restrict it to just hatch.”

And the chance of a manual transmission? “At the moment we’re looking at a seven-speed dual-clutch,” he answered.

The Cerato currently tops out at $26,190 driveaway, so expect sub-$30K pricing for the Cerato GT hatch and sedan, which will rival Hyundai’s i30 SR and Elantra SR that utilise the same engine, transmission and IRS basics.

With the new Cerato, Kia has ditched the ‘luxury’ focused Si and SLi model grades that previously sat above the base S that continues in the range.

Rivero said that strong feedback from local dealerships indicated that the Sport and Sport+ badging better resonated with buyers, in addition to the even sportier GT-Line and GT.

He added that, going into 2019, the Picanto micro hatch would have S, Sport and GT model grades, the latter (as reported this week on Practical Motoring) with a 1.0-litre turbo three-cylinder engine. The Rio light hatch would from next month switch to S, Sport and GT-Line – despite the latter using the same 1.0-litre turbo engine, the heavier hatch was deemed not suitabe for the GT tag.

Finally, this Cerato will have its model line-up completed from next year with, in addition to S, Sport and Sport+ model grades that have just launched, the range-topping GT as well. It’s all about harmonising the new Kia lineup going into next year. Either way, turbo engines are coming to all three of the cheapest Kias within 12 months.

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Dan DeGasperi

Dan DeGasperi