Kia Forte GT shown at SEMA with turbo engine and manual transmission

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We figured it was coming soon, but the performance version of the Kia Forte just dropped at SEMA. Named Forte , this 2020 model sedan takes the redesigned for 2019 and turns it up a few notches in the fun department. Replacing the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder is a 1.6-liter turbocharged four banger. It makes 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque, which is identical to the power it makes in the Hyundai Elantra Sport and GT Sport. A “sport-tuned” dual exhaust is added to give the car some aural appeal too. Buyers will be able to choose between a six-speed and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, also the same as the Elantra. We hope you’re noticing a trend here.

The torsion bar rear suspension is replaced with a fully independent suspension design, making it that way for all four corners. Thicker sway bars and larger disc brakes are used all around as well. To keep it stuck to the ground, Kia is offering Michelin Pilot Sport summer tires as an option — that’s pretty sweet. All of these changes follow the same pattern as the Elantra did when Hyundai introduced the Sport trim for that car. The Hyundai doesn’t offer this aggressive of a tire package though.

Of course, there are exterior changes here, too. New 18-inch two-tone wheels are exclusive to the GT. A shouty (and questionable) gloss black and red accented grille with GT designation is the most obvious switch-up. There’s more gloss black on the mirrors, side sills, rear spoiler and turn signals. Black sport seats with red contrast stitching, a flat-bottom steering wheel and aluminum sport pedals differentiate the interior from the normal Forte trims.

is also making a less exciting Forte “GT Line” trim car, which is essentially a GT appearance package. You’ll get almost all the go-fast look parts, but the mechanicals are identical to the standard Forte. This means the 2.0-liter, CVT and torsion beam rear go back in.

The baby Stinger theme is carried on with this car in its name and even the GT1 and GT2 option packages available for these two new trim levels. Both the packages offer differing levels of Kia’s driver assistance technologies, as well as tech like a Harman Kardon audio system and heated/cooled seats. While we can safely say the new Forte is no Stinger, this GT trim is an extremely welcome addition, especially the continued option for a manual .

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