As some of you know I’m a bit of a fan of the Kia Cerato so the following news from Kia gives me warm fuzzy feelings.
GT ADDS TURBO SPARKLE TO CERATO
- 150kW 1.6-litre turbo lifts the performance bar
- 7-speed DCT gearbox
- Bespoke Australian ride and handling package
- Adds an additional layer to new generation Cerato
January 17, 2019: Take one quality Cerato, add a bunch of kilowatts and a mess of Newton metres, throw independent rear suspension into the mix with some extra focus on steering and what do you have? A GT, of course.
Kia Motors Australia’s best-selling model, the Cerato Sedan and Hatch, has stepped up the game with the addition of a 1.6-litre Turbo model complete with a ride and handling package providing the most focused drive to date in Kia’s small car garage.
“Australian drivers are like few others in the world,” Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer Damien Meredith said. “They know what they like … and what they like is that rare combination of style, value and performance which doesn’t come along all that often.
“With the Cerato GT they have one additional opportunity to find what they are searching for _ and this time it is wearing a badge which comes with proven value and reliability.”
Kia’s Cerato small car has been a foundation plank of the brand’s impressive growth in Australia over the past few years, consistently wearing the crown as Kia’s top-selling model.
So what do you do when such a successful model matures into a performance realm with the quite maturity that owners over the years have come to expect?
“Whatever you do, you do it right,” Mr Meredith said. “With a localization program which had a clear focus on what the end result was to be, the Cerato GT had to step up to the mark.
“And it has.”
At $31,990 drive away Sedan and Hatch (for premium paint at $520) the Cerato GT represents outstanding value
As with all Kia models, the Cerato GT will enter the market at an unbeatable specification level with standard Autonomous Emergency Braking Pedestrian and Cyclist), Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Rear View Camera with dynamic guidelines, Driver Attention Alert Warning, front and rear parking sensors, 18-inch alloy wheels, Drive Mode Select, six airbags, tyre pressure monitor, speed limiter, 8-way driver seat adjustment with two memory positions, smart cruise control, 8-inch touchscreen infotainment display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with voice recognition, wireless phone charger, 8-speaker JBL Premium sound system with Bluetooth connectivity, climate control air-conditioning and ventilated front sport seats.
Adding to the character of the GT is a subtle yet distinctive body kit, dual exhausts, paddle shifters, alloy sports pedals and a flat-bottomed leather sports steering wheel.
The four-cylinder 1.6-litre turbo engine produces 150kW at 6000rpm and 265Nm of torque from 1500-4500rpm all channeled to the front wheels through a 7-speed DCT gearbox. Sport mode is accessed by tipping across the gearlever towards the driver with aggressive gear shift characteristics and sharper steering maps.
In tuning the new Cerato GTs for Australia, the local ride and handling team were determined to optimize the advantages gained from the car’s multi-link independent rear suspension while maintaining a compliant ride over Australia’s multiple road surfaces.
“It was quite a balancing act to optimize the sporty possibilities of the GT’s platform and still make it a car the owner would be happy with in day-to-day activities,” explained KMAu’s General Manager for Product, Roland Rivero.
“In the end I believe the team has reached a platform which provides confidence-inspiring grip and balance when the opportunity arises to push the GT along, yet doesn’t disappoint in its domestic duties.”
The new Cerato Hatch is longer (plus 160mm), wider (plus 20mm) and 10mm lower for the GT (5mm lower in the standard hatch) yet sits on the same wheelbase as the previous generation. There is 20mm more overhang at the front and 140mm at the rear.
The additional body size is key to increased luggage capacity, up 84 litres (SAE) to 741 litres and up 43 litres to 428 measured in VDA.
Body stiffness plays a major role in reducing noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), and the Cerato’s rigid new body contributes to improved NVH performance. Engineers worked to increase rigidity not just for safety – but also to create a quieter cabin and improve the Cerato’s handling to match its sporty and dynamic exterior.
Starting to tune the GTs, the KMAu engineers knew that they had a solid base to work from with the new Cerato offering significant improvements over the previous model in key areas.
The Cerato’s body-in-white is 16 percent stiffer than that of its predecessor, aided by new subframe designs to improve lateral responsiveness. Steering feel is upgraded compared to the second-generation model thanks to enhancements within the Column-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (C-MDPS) system to reduce artificial steering feel and friction.
The reworked suspension geometry in the non-IRS models provided a sound starting point for the more sophisticated GT set-up, already delivering a responsive and engaging behind-the-wheel feel for keen drivers. Combined with evolutionary improvements to throttle and brake feel performance, the Cerato offered a smoother initial response at turn-in, and shorter stopping distances than the previous model.
The KMAu team took those attributes and further refined and polished them to produce a step above driving experience.
Sport mapping for steering sharpness and weighting, coupled with more precise gear shift points in Sport Mode, sit hand-in-glove with the more aggressive suspension tune with the overall result aided by larger 305mm by 25mm ventilated front discus and 18-inch sport rims shod in grippy 225/40Z R18 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 rubber.
Coupled to the standard 262mm solid rear discs, the larger front brakes offer impressive repeatable stopping performance.
The Cerato GTs carry over all of the extensive active and passive safety equipment from the Cerato range, earning the GTs an ANCAP 5-star rating.
The colour palette for the GT is Clear White (standard) with an extensive range of premium colours: Snow White Pearl, Silky Silver, Steel Grey, Platinum Graphite, Horizon Blue, Gravity Blue, Aurora Black Pearl, Runway Red and the Sunset Orange (exclusive to GT).
All pricing for Cerato is drive away from launch.
Cerato Hatch GT $31,990
Cerato Sedan GT $31,990
Premium paint: $520