Kia's first turbocharged production car has arrived on New Zealand shores with Toyota's 86 in its sights.
The 2014 Kia Cerato Koup T-GDI was launched locally this week, against the 86 and Hyundai's Veloster turbo.
Kia New Zealand says the Cerato Koup is its first turbocharged petrol production car to be sold in NZ and the boss Todd McDonald says the car is more than just a pretty face.
"It brings with it a new sense of excitement and freshness to a brand already being driven by award-winning design, best-practice engineering, safety and leading-edge customer service and benefits," says McDonald.
Retailing at $42,490, the Cerato Koup T-GDI SX is the third player in the Cerato range and retains much of stylist Peter Schreyer's handiwork first seen on the sedan and hatch.
A lip boot spoiler, twin exhausts, diffuser, xenon headlights, new 18-inch alloy wheels and dual LED/foglamps are nice touches.
The 1.6-litre four cylinder T-GDI engine produces 150kW at 6000rpm and 265Nm of torque while returning 8.0L/100km.
A six-speed automatic takes pride of place instead of four. While a six-speed manual is available on indent order, the automatic will be the sole transmission available.
Zero to 100km/h is claimed to be 7.4 seconds and the car is said to have a top speed of 222km/h.
For both Australian and New Zealand markets, the 2014 Koup is lower by 10 millimetres and suspension has been tailored to suit local road conditions. Torsional rigidity has been increased by 37 per cent over the previous Koup. Equipment levels are good too. Keyless entry with push-button-start, touch screen infotaiment system with USB/iPod connectivity, bluetooth, reversing camera, heated front seats, front and rear parking sensors and satellite navigation all come as standard.
An extra 50 millimetres added to the wheel base means head and legroom is just as generous as the sedan. Boot space has been increased for longer length and improved access.
Since its introduction in 2004, global sales of the Cerato have soared to more than 2.5 million, with the model accounting for 17 per cent of all Kia sales.
"For 2014, we should sell around 50 units, though we are expecting to exceed that target. We also expect 53 per cent of Koups sold in New Zealand will go to the private sector, with 45 per cent for business and 2 per cent for rental firms." says McDonald.
And as part of Kia's five-year roadside assistance scheme it offers an app for owners to make it easier to get help. Compatible with Apple iOS and Android smartphones, owners can send a three-step call out, identify their location, and give regular updates about their situation and whereabouts to the Automobile Association.