Sleeker Cerato

Due for its official unveiling soon at the LA Motor Show and to arrive here in New Zealand in the autumn of 2013, Kiathird-generation Cerato sedan has broken cover. A matching hatch and Koup replacement should appear shortly after that.

If the sedan seems to incorporate hints of the Optima, then thatno bad thing. Kia is keeping mum on the mechanicals at present and has also been cagey on details of the interior styling. The company does say, however, that the new Cerato sedan is longer, wider and lower than the current version, and that it rides on an extended wheelbase. A larger cabin and more boot space are likely outcomes.

The new Cerato has been styled mainly in Europe by Peter Shrayer, with input from Namyang, Korea. It was developed alongside its kissing cousin, the i30, and will feature LED front and rear lamps. Given its relationship to the i30, it is likely to share that carMac strut and torsion beam underpinnings, along with its electric steering.

Sleeker CeratoBut rumour has it that the Cerato is unlikely to get the 110kW/178Nm, 1.8-litre, direct-injection engine that powers the new i30 and will probably utilise the 120kW/200Nm, 2.0-litre Theta II instead, which will drive the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. Diesels have been off the playlist for the latest Cerato, and are unlikely to feature again in the new vehicle.

Expect suspension and steering tuning for Australasian conditions, as with other Kia product.