The highly-anticipated Koup’s 1.6-litre GDi twin-scroll Turbo, the first forced induction petrol engine for Kia Motors Australia, underscores Kia’s determination to keep the customer satisfied.
“Since the Koup’s first generation launch the car has been praised as having the look of a genuine sports coupe,” Kia Motors Australia’s Chief Operating Officer, Tony Barlow, said.
“There had also always been the question mark over whether the performance of the Koup matched its exciting looks. The arrival of the new 1.6-litre Turbo with 150kW makes that question redundant.”
Mr Barlow said that while the needs of customers who felt they did not need the extra urge of a Turbo would be well served by the 129kW naturally aspirated 2.0-litre GDi option, the halo value of the Koup Turbo could not be overestimated.
“It brings with it a new sense of excitement and freshness to a brand already being driven by award-winning design, best-practice engineering and safety and leading-edge customer service and benefits,” Mr Barlow said.
“And this is just the start. With the Koup Turbo filling the classic Grand Tourer role, next year will see the arrival of a focused performance line in the pro_cee’d GT.”
The introduction of the new Koup follows the launch earlier this year of the all-new third-generation Cerato sedan and five-door hatchback, which continue to be Kia’s most successful models for worldwide sales.
The triumvirate of Cerato models has achieved more than 2.5 million global sales since its introduction in 2004, including 385,000 units in 2012 when these models accounted for almost 17% of Kia’s total annual sales.
Now, the all-new version of the compact, sporty Cerato Koup features a sleeker profile with futuristic and dynamic styling, plus a more luxurious image. It is longer and wider than the current car, with a significantly extended wheelbase.
Beneath its distinctive exterior, new Koup incorporates all the improved engineering first developed for the Cerato sedan, with an all-new bodyshell structure, improved quality, upgraded equipment with a host of additional convenience and safety features, a more spacious cabin with enhanced quality, greater refinement and an upgraded powertrain line-up (ranging from 129kW to 150kW) that delivers outstanding performance and competitive fuel economy.
“The three-model Cerato family has become our brand’s biggest-selling export model, so the introduction of the exciting second-generation Koup is hugely significant for Kia,” commented Soon-Nam Lee, Kia’s Vice-President of Overseas Marketing.
“We are raising our product standards to the next level with the all-new Cerato Koup, which adds emotional appeal to its established core values of design, quality and value,” added Mr Lee. “This all-new model will boost our competitiveness in the compact sporty coupe segment – known as the C-segment in many countries – which is one of the world’s most important and most competitive marketplaces.”
In Australia the all-new Cerato Koup will be classified in the sports segment.
While creating the all-new Cerato family of cars, Kia’s designers and engineers have listened closely to customer feedback. The resulting trio of new cars is a bold demonstration of Kia’s determination to deliver models which exceed customer expectations and provide a rewarding long-term ownership experience.
“Although economic uncertainties continue in many markets, our research points to rising demand (up by between 6.1% and 40.2%) for C-segment coupes in North America, China, South America, Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific region.
“We are confident that the new Cerato Koup with its transformed appearance, broad range of new features, improved powertrains, performance and refinement, will attract both existing and new customers to Kia showrooms.
“When all three bodystyles of new Cerato family are on sale, we anticipate achieving annual global sales for this model (in 2014) approaching 500,000 units, including more than 120,000 sales in General Market countries*, to claim a 3.3% share of the global C1 Segment,” concluded Mr Lee.
Third-generation Cerato models are manufactured at Kia’s Hwasung facility in Korea.
For Kia’s global marketing program, General Market countries include the regions of Central and South America, the Caribbean, Asia (excluding China and Korea), the Pacific, Middle East and Africa
2. STYLING & DESIGN
New sophistication with boosted ‘dynamic muscularity’
Now with a bolder but more sophisticated design, the all-new ‘look’ of the third-generation Cerato Koup was inspired by European coupes and created at Kia’s American Design Centre in California. The design team was directed by Peter Schreyer, Kia’s Chief Design Officer and headed by Tom Kearns, Chief Designer, Kia Motors America. Except for the hood and front fenders, every exterior panel on the new Koup is unique to this model.
Like its Cerato sister-cars, Koup is sculpted to portray ‘dynamic muscularity’ and provoke an emotional response. The sleeker cab-forward styling, rising beltline, swooping C-pillar and distinctive eye-catching concave door contours project an aura of sporty luxury.
At the front, Koup’s stance is bold and athletic. The slimmer front grille and deeper, wider, lower air intake, together with the voluminous bumper design and protruding ‘lips’ below the round fog lamps, give this model a distinctive face. The Kia badge is moved from the grille to the panel in front of the shortened bonnet. High performance (Turbo models) feature a dark chrome front grille, carbon-look bumper garnish and front fog lamps with added LEDs.
The profile of new Koup is enhanced by the adoption of frameless doors, flush side glazing and alloy wheels in either 17-inch (Si) or 18-inch (Turbo). Turbo models have black-high-gloss door mirrors, door handles (with chrome inserts) and added body-colour side-skirts.
Koup’s rear view has simple, modern surfaces and clever details. The two-tone bumper features a matt black diffuser on the Si and a high-gloss feature on the Turbo, flanked by red reflectors framed in black. The trunk lid is shaped to reduce aerodynamic drag and the LED rear combination lamps on the Turbo smooth the airflow while also reinforcing the Koup’s wide stance. The Turbo models are fitted with a carbon-look rear diffuser with dual exhaust tail pipes.
Compared with its predecessor, new Cerato Koup is 50mm longer (4530mm), 15mm wider (1780mm) and 10mm higher (1410mm). The wheelbase has been extended by 50mm (to 2700mm), becoming the longest in the C1 segment and is now the same as Kia’s Sorento SUV.
New Cerato Koup’s front overhang has been reduced by 15mm, while the rear overhang is 15mm larger – which together with the swooping C-pillar design gives the latest model an eagerness to leap forwards, presenting a truly sporty appearance. Trunk capacity is 433 litres (VDA) – among the largest in class – and the trunk opening is 60mm wider for improved access.
Despite new Cerato Koup’s larger external dimensions, its sculptured proportions, together with careful attention to surface detailing and airflow-smoothing panels beneath the engine bay, centre section and trunk, have cut the Kia coupe’s aerodynamic drag to Cd 0.30 (down from 0.31) – boosting both performance and economy at high speeds.
Cerato Koup will be available in Australia in six colours _ Racing Red, Abyss Blue (standard); Snow White Pearl, Aurora Black, Bright Silver and Metal Stream (premium).
3. COMFORT & CONVENIENCE
Enhanced quality and new ‘high-tech’ premium features
The interior design of new Koup concentrates on sportiness and adopts nature’s ebbs and flows as a motif. The driver-focused cockpit places all the major and minor controls within easy-to-operate reach, while the sweeping curve of the centre stack (from behind the instrument cluster around and down to the centre console) creates a voluminous feeling. The sweeping appearance is re-enforced by carbon-look trim on the vertical band each side of the stack that incorporates the adjustable air vents.
For enhanced elegance, soft-touch materials are applied to the upper door trims, dashboard, door armrests, door centre trim panels and the centre console.
Because new Koup is wider and higher, its ability to provide generous accommodation for people and cargo has been enhanced. While the front seats continue to offer excellent accommodation, space in the rear of the cabin is improved with headroom (up 28mm), legroom (up 51mm) and shoulder room (up 15mm), all increased.
Like the Cerato sedan, driver comfort in the Koup has been enhanced by fitting an organ-type accelerator pedal which more closely follows the natural movement of the user’s foot, while the steering wheel features ‘tilt & telescopic’ adjustment over a 40mm range.
Because the B-pillars are further back than in the 4-door model, the front seat belts are fitted with extended guides to put them within easy reach of the front seat occupants for easier fastening.
Both Koup front seat occupants will enjoy the wider seats and deeper bolsters on both cushion and backrest for increased support during enthusiastic cornering. Both front seats are fitted with a simple to operate tilt-and-slide ‘walk-in’ device for easy access to the rear seats which have a centre folding armrest with cup holders, extra cup-holders in the side panel trim and a 60/40 spilt folding backrest. The heating and ventilation system has been upgraded.
The Cerato Koup driver will be faced by an instrument cluster centred on two large, chrome-edged, dials and a bridging centre information panel layout. The Dot-Matrix LCD cluster is standard.
Several storage areas are provided for Koup’s cabin. The size of the glove box is increased by 30 per cent to 8-litres, each front door pocket holds a 700ml bottle, while a cup holder is built into the rear side trim of the cabin. Along the car’s centreline, there is a sunglasses holder, covered 2-litre console multi-box (ahead of the gear lever), twin cupholders (behind the gear lever) and a 5.6-litre centre console box between the front seats.
For Australia, the all-new Cerato Koup will be offered in two levels _ Si with the 2.0-litre GDi engine and Turbo. A Touring option pack will be available on the Turbo which adds leather trim seats, satellite navigation, DVD players, dual-zone climate control, clean air module and auto defog.
Improved NVH for quieter, smoother running
Driver and passenger comfort is not just dependent on a car’s interior space and convenience features _ it can be enhanced or undermined by the level of NVH (noise, vibration and harshness). Consequently, Kia’s engineers worked hard to ensure that the latest Koup will deliver even better refinement than the previous model.
The Koup’s stiffer structure and new vibration-damping front subframe mountings are an excellent foundation for minimizing NVH. Additional measures taken to reduce NVH even further include lining the engine bay bulkhead with a new, three-layer, HMP3 noise-lowering pad, fitting new dual-frequency engine mounts and applying a new 700 g/m2 EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) sound insulating coating to the cabin floor.
Further NVH reduction measures resulted in the rear parcel shelf and cargo bay side trims incorporating a thinsulator filling, while the rear wheel arches are covered with sound insulation material and a breathable film is adopted within the cabin headliner. The front side chassis members, A-pillar and side sills are filled with foam. A dynamic damper is fitted to the shorter of the two front driveshafts.
The NVH improvement program has achieved a significant effect. Idle vibrations through the steering wheel and cabin floor have been reduced by 2dB, while idle noise level in the cabin is down 1dB to 38dB and noise during acceleration is cut by up to 2dB. Interior noise during a 110kph cruise is cut to 65dB.
5. ENGINES & TRANSMISSIONS
Outstanding power and performance
Australian drivers will have the choice of a 129kW Nu 2.0-litre GDi four cylinder engine with 209Nm or a 150kW Gamma 1.6-litre GDi Turbo four cylinder with 265Nm. Both are available with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.
These lightweight engines, which feature cast aluminum cylinder blocks and aluminum cylinder heads, are equipped with an offset crankshaft (to reduce friction), a low-noise timing chain, mechanical lash adjustment, variable intake valve timing (and exhaust valve timing on the Gamma), and a plastic variable intake manifold (on the Nu engine).
In combination, these features (together with the upgraded transmissions) enable new Cerato to deliver a highly competitive combination of class-best power and performance with modest fuel consumption and lower emissions.
TURBO powered Koups feature a unique exhaust system with transversely mounted free-flow muffler and dual tail pipes set into the black diffuser. The exhaust sound is tuned to produce an especially sporty tone between 1000-to-4000 rpm which is also 10-to-15dB louder than naturally aspirated models.
Depending on model, acceleration time from 0 to 100kph varies from 8.9 seconds down to 7.4 seconds (with the six-speed automatic transmission), while top speed is up to 222kph. Fuel consumption is as low as 7.3 l/100 km on the combined cycle for the Si and 7.7 l/100km for the manual Turbo.
Every all-new Cerato Koup model will feature a six-speed transmission as Kia continues to upgrade the specification of its products to match customers’ ever-rising expectations. Drivers are offered a choice of manual or multi-mode automatic gearboxes.
To reduce fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions when cruising at speed, both the six-speed transmissions feature high top-gear ratios and low first-gear ratios that enable drivers to fully enjoy the new Koup’s off-the-line performance.
The automatic transmission in new Koup features two operating modes – fully automatic or ‘Sport’ engaged by moving the lever towards the driver when in D mode. For city driving, fully automatic mode is ideal, while ‘Sport’ mode allows for clutch-less sequential manual gear changes accompanied by paddle shifters for greater driver involvement.
6. SUSPENSION & RUNNING GEAR
Improved handling, steering ‘feel’ and ride quality
As with all Kia models bound for the Australian market, KMAu’s product team spent considerable time and effort sorting the best ride and handling package to suit local conditions and local driver preferences.
The challenge was to give the Koup its own special flavour and excitement while retaining the characteristics of the classic Grand Tourer _ performance with comfort.
Thousands of kilometres and hundreds of hours later, the product team are confident that the Koup will deliver all that is expected of it.
The specification of the new Koup’s fully independent MacPherson strut front suspension and CTBA (coupled torsion beam axle) rear suspension is unchanged, but both systems are developed to improve handling agility, enhance shock absorbance and deliver greater refinement. To ensure supple ride comfort and high-speed stability, gas-filled dampers are fitted front and rear.
At the front, the Koup’s suspension is mounted on an all-new, stronger sub-frame. The suspension’s lower arms have larger diameter bushes, the steering rack is moved forwards by 15mm (closer to the axle line) and the geometry is modified to deliver improved on-centre steering feel.
The CTBA rear suspension is a particularly compact design which ensures minimum intrusion into the Koup’s cabin and trunk space, and also maximizes under-floor space to accommodate the fuel tank and spare wheel.
For the latest Koup, the steering wheel features ‘tilt & telescopic’ adjustment over a 40mm range. The turning circle (with the 50mm longer wheelbase) is still compact, measuring 10.6 metres and requiring just 2.85 turns of the wheel lock-to-lock thanks to a faster steering gear (15.1:1)
To ensure responsive steering ‘feel’ and precise vehicle control, every new Koup comes with Kia’s MDPS (Motor Driven Power Steering) system. Electric power assistance, rather than hydraulic assistance, delivers a significant fuel saving – up to 3 per cent.
Kia’s new FlexSteer™ system is standard on Australian Koup models. It provides three different settings (or weights) for the steering to match customer preference with Normal, Sport and Comfort modes. The effort required to turn the wheel varies with mode, but the gearing (the number of turns lock-to-lock) remains the same.
For maximum stopping power, new Koup models are equipped with an all-disc braking system featuring large diameter ventilated front discs (280mm for 2.0-liter Nu GDI, 300mm for 1.6-liter Gamma T-GDI models) and 262mm solid discs at the rear, backed up by ABS anti-lock.
High strength steel reinforces high safety standards
To maximize occupant protection, Kia makes the safety of people using its products and other road users a top priority – and invests heavily in safety-related R&D.
Previously, the second-generation Cerato was awarded a 4-Star safety rating by the US NHTSA and Australia’s NCAP. By 2013, the official crash test standards around the world have been made even tougher and Kia engineers have re-engineered both the new Koup’s structure and its safety equipment to ensure that the latest model will also deliver the highest safety standards in its class with full expectation of a maximum 5-star safety rating.
Now incorporating a much higher percentage (63%) of high-tensile steel than many competitor cars, the Koup bodyshell features new engine bay bulkhead bracing linked to two new longitudinal chassis members each side of the central tunnel. New connections are fitted between the B-Pillar and roof rail, while 60 kgf steel is used for the anti-intrusion door beams and 150 kgf ultra high-tensile strength steel for the B-pillars.
Hot stamping is used to manufacture the Koup’s B-pillars. This method heats steel to 900º C, then rapidly cools the steel, while simultaneously pressing it into immensely strong components with greatly enhanced crashworthiness – without adding weight.
The Koup’s new structure also benefits from additional cross members linking the front suspension towers, rear suspension mounting points and under the rear parcel shelf.
Torsional rigidity of the new Koup bodyshell is increased by 37% (over the previous model), bringing the added benefits of improving refinement and creating a stronger foundation for the suspension and steering – in turn enhancing ride comfort and steering precision.
At the front, new ‘crash boxes’ are fitted to the longitudinal engine bay side members, reducing low-speed impact damage and the rear chassis side members are strengthened – minimizing distortion and reducing repair costs. At the rear, an additional benefit of the CTBA rear suspension layout is that its robust structure provides the under-seat fuel tank with added protection during a rear impact.
Active safety technologies are all standard fare in Australian Koups with ESC (electronic stability control), HAC (hill-start assist control), VSM (vehicle stability management) and ESS (emergency stop signalling) all working to keep the Koup occupants out of trouble .
Front and rear parking sensors are also standard along with six airbags – dual front airbags, front side airbags and side curtain airbags.
8. EQUIPMENT SPECIFICATIONS
Cerato Koup continues to offer generous equipment levels
Kia continues to follow its philosophy of producing cars that present excellent value for money and the new Koup carries over the generous levels of standard specification found on the previous model.
For Australian buyers the Si 2.0-litre model offers 17-inch alloys with a full-size alloy spare, the full range of electronic safety features including ESC, TCS, ABS, EBD, BA, VSM, HAC and ESS, six airbags, front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry, cloth seats, 6-way driver’s seat adjustment, 60:40 split fold rear seats, electric door mirrors, cruise control, power windows, rear view camera, MP3 compatible CD player and radio, six speakers Bluetooth connectivity, manual air-conditioning, electric folding mirrors, UV window glass, rear air vent, paddle shifts on automatic.
Stepping up to the Turbo adds the high-tech 1.6-litre Turbo GDi engine, 18-inch wheels with full-size alloy spare, enhanced 16-inch brake package, LED rear combination lamps, LED daytime running lamps, alloy sports pedals, cooling glovebox, electrochromic rear view mirror, cloth seat with artificial leather bolsters, smart key with push button start and welcome lights.
An optional Touring Pack will also be available for the Turbo with leather trim seats, satellite navigation, DVD player, 7-inch touch colour LCD screen, dual-zone climate control air-conditioning, clean air module and auto defog system.
9. TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
2014 Kia Cerato Koup
Body and chassis
Two-door, five-seater coupe with all-steel unitary construction bodyshell. Choice of transversely-mounted four cylinder gasoline engines driving the front wheels via a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
Engines / Gasoline
Gamma T-GDI (Turbocharged)
(4-in-line), DOHC, four-cylinder, with CVVT
Capacity - 1591cc (1.6-litres)
Power - 150kW @ 6000rpm
Torque - 265Nm @ 1750-4500rpm
Fuelling - Direct injection
2.0-litre - 129kW
(4-in-line), DOHC, four-cylinder, with CVVT
Capacity - 1999cc (2.0-litres)
Power - 129kW @ 6500rpm
Torque - 209Nm @ 4700rpm
Fuelling - Direct injection
Suspension and damping
Fully independent by MacPherson struts, with coil springs and twin-tube gas-filled shock absorbers. Anti-roll stabiliser bar
CTBA (coupled torsion beam axle), with separate coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers. Anti-roll stabiliser bar
Electric motor driven power-assisted rack and pinion
Single 10.0-inch booster
280 x 23mm ventilated discs (2.0 GDI)
300 x 28mm ventilated discs (1.6 TURBO)
262 x 10mm solid discs
Wheels and tyres
Alloy 17 inch x 7.0J 215/45 R17 tyres
18 inch x 7.5J
225/40 R18 tyres (1.6 T-GDI)
Spare ‘full-size spare wheel
1780 (excluding door mirrors)
Front track 1553-to-1563 (depending on wheels/tires)
Rear track 1566-to-1576 (depending on wheels/tires)
Front Rear Headroom
Fuel tank (litres)
2.0 GDI MT/AT
1.6 T-GDI MT/AT
Kerb weight (kg)
1314 / 1337 1760 / 1780
Maximum (kg) 1760 / 1780 1810 / 1830
Top speed (kph)
210 / 210
224 / 222
0-to-100 kph (sec)
8.4 / 8.9
7.7 / 7.4
Economy and emissions*
Litres / 100 km
7.3 / 7.4
7.7 / 8.0
175 / 177
184 / 190
*combined cycle tests
2.0-litre GDi SL
1.6-litre T-GDi Turbo
1.6-litre T-GDi Turbo with Touring Pack
*Premium paint add $520.
Founded in 1944 as Kyungsung Precision Industry, Kia is currently Korea’s second largest car manufacturer and it’s oldest. From the company’s production of Korea’s first domestic bicycle, Kia moved on to producing Korea’s first motorcycle and the country’s first truck. Kia then became the first company in Korea to locally produce petrol car engines and the first domestic diesel engine. In 1979, Kia’s quality car production was recognised by the fact that two of the world’s leading European car makers chose the Korean car maker to build their ‘range topper’ models on their behalf – the Peugeot 604 and Fiat 132. But it was in the 1980s that Kia’s growth really took off. In 1986 Ford joined the list of car makers who looked to Kia to produce cars to be sold under their name, with the Festiva joining Ford’s line up first in the USA, then across the world, including in Australia for where Kia produced two generations of Ford’s entry-level car. Today, Kia produces a remarkably diverse range of vehicles sold in 190 countries around the world.