2010 US-spec Spectra to get 2,4L engine and two-door coupe model

Early next year, US market will get a new four-door compact sedan from Kia, which will replace the current generation Spectra model.

Available in two variants, as a four-door sedan or a two-door coupe, the car will benefit from a more powerful four-cylinder engine! Until it goes on sale, there are still a few months from now, but first information on the US-spec model has just been revealed.

According to Motortrend, next generation Spectra sedan will be packing larger four-cylinder engine.

The current 2,0L unit willl be replaced by 2,4L Theta engine, featuring more horsepower and torque than the current one. This engine upgrade will add a noticable 24hp to the current engine numbers in will push it’s final horsepower rating to 162 (hp).


In addition to the four-door sedan, Kia also plans to bring a sportier and more dynamic two-door Spectra model to the US market. Kia’s first coupe will replace 5-door Spectra hatch and is expected to hit the showrooms two to three months later than sedan does.

Those who have seen the production ready two-door model state it looks fantastic and strongly resembles Kia Koup concept. The Koup concept has first appeared at the auto show in New York in April and is currently on display at SEMA auto show in Las Vegas.

Having an all-new architecture, more powerful engine and completely new design, Kia’s new compact sedan presents a dramatic departure from the current generation Spectra.

Therefore, Kia has also been considering to replace the Spectra name with either a Forte (current Spectra name in South Korea) or Cerato (current Spectra name in Australia and other markets overseas).

But the Spectra name is not out of game just yet and it’s possible Kia will stick with it’s current name. [Source: Motortrend]

Do you think Spectra needs a new name? Which one do you think fits this car the best?

39 thoughts on “2010 US-spec Spectra to get 2,4L engine and two-door coupe model

  1. Good to see some new styling from Kia and giving the new Forte some extra power. Just wish that they would do it to the Sportage. Now if these new styled Spectra’s could only get here sooner!

  2. yeah, I read this on motortrend. we will just get the 2L four pot engine like always.

  3. I’m really interested in seeing what we’ll finally get when this thing hits our shores. Personally, I’d like to see the Spectra name dropped and the Forte name used. If they decide to stick with Spectra however I won’t really have too much problem with it.

    As for the larger motor, let’s hope they can get it to achieve better mileage than the 2.4L motor in the current Lancer. I’d like to see mileage numbers *at least* as good as the 4 cylinder Optima and better if possible. This car should be about 400 lbs lighter than the Optima so it’s really not asking too much.

    Lastly, I’m really hoping to start seeing images of the production Forte coupe model soon.

  4. Well, this news was published by Motortrend who seems to got to drive the car equipped with 2,4L Theta. And I have also been told by a source close to Kia that this engine will be available in Forte/Spectra. At that time I couldn’t believe it and thiught this is some kind of a mistake.

    Now, I have a question: Motortrade states the engine produces 162 hp, so this must be the first generation 2,4L Theta engine. But at the moment, Kia already uses the second gen Theta with 171hp in Optima. So why the h… are they putting an old engine in the new car?

    There’s more, Kia also has a 2,0L four-cyl. Theta engine, which delivers 158 hp. Why didn’t they just simply use that one instead of using the first gen. engine???

    Something’s tricky here…

    So why do you think they would use this old. generation 2,4L when there are two better options?

    Theta engine stats: http://www.kia-world.net/index.php/2007/11/28/kia-upgrades-lotze-sedan/

  5. Don’t think so. Spending millions of $ on developing a new engine and then not using it to save the money…that’s not what I call saving!

  6. Just because it’s developing less horsepower in this application doesn’t mean it has to be the old block. If I were Kia, I wouldn’t want the Spectra developing the same amount of horsepower as the midsize Optima. The horsepower bump is nice, especially if it gets a 5-speed auto.

  7. O sorry himi. wasnt concentrating… US seems to get the bigger engines for the optima and rondo compared to other markets. dunno about canada. the optima and rondo both get a 2.4 in US and other markets get 2.0L. so they give US 2.4 instead of 2.0L.
    now why they used the lower hp engine? maybe the 2.4 on the optima is tweaked as it is a bigger car. the forte needs less power comparitively. urgh, forget it!

  8. maybe for the 2door coupe we’ll get a retuned 2.4L with a different intake routing (maybe even a CAI option?) at the expense of a few mpg’s. I’d like a 2.4L, 190hp 2 door, 6-speed forte! i’m torn about what to replace the tiburon with when it comes time, whether it be the genesis coupe for the power or the forte for the styling.

  9. Maybe the US consumer perceives the large engine as being better for their needs, after all it is the home of the big 8 liter gas guzzlers of the past. Another thing with the larger engine you will always get more low down torque than you will with the smaller, even higher horsepower engines. As we all know, around town torque is king and it will also suit the proposed 4 speed transmission better than a peaky higher revving engine. So I guess Kia says in the US small 2 liter engines don’t sell and most people wouldn’t know if the engine was first generation or fifth generation. As long as the fuel economy is good and there’s good power output and the engine is nice and quiet and efficient, who cares.

  10. i personally think it’d be smartest to put the 1.6L as an option as they have in other markets, give people who care more about MPG an option… offer the 2.0L for the EX model & higher LX models, then save the 2.4L for the SX to help distinguish the fact that the S stands for Sport as it does with other models in the past & present. As for the name, Spectra has a good name for itself in the US so i say keep it. If they do change it, go with Forte as Cerato just doesn’t sound like it belongs here. it doesn’t roll off the tongue as easy & Spectra is definitely my fave. Koup should be for the coupe, hands down. Koup with a K gives the car a sporty sound when in conversation and is different but normal @ the same time. I don’t even like the fact the Genesis Coupe has Genesis in front. They could have just as easily called it something else that could go nicely with the tiburon. (side note, i think tiburons are super sexy & i can’t wait to see what they’re replaced with, but i will most def. miss it).

  11. The 1.6 really isn’t enough for the Rio, though. I was driving one the other day, and I was surprised at how terrible the acceleration is for it! If you do try to accelerate fast, it sounds very unhealthy. I couldn’t even imagine how awful it would be in a bigger car. The USA loves big engines, and gas is below $2 per gallon in most places (until after Thanksgiving at least), so people aren’t too worried.

  12. Considering this is Motortrend I wouldn’t take it all as fact. I don’t see it having the 2.4 standard but maybe as an option and like already mentioned the 2.4 makes 171hp now. They were probably pulling numbers out of older kia specs. The base model will have the 2.0L. Its a compact, thats what Americans expect and want now.

  13. Hey we’re only talking about 400cc here. I always remember a test between to vehicles on the English show Top Gear.
    As below:
    After evaluating supercars to see which could go furthest on a gallon of gasoline, the crew of Top Gear decided to try again. What they apparently set out to do was demonstrate the impact of driving behavior on fuel economy. All hypermiling enthusiasts will gladly expound on how modifying your driving style can take you above and beyond the EPA mileage ratings. Of course, Jeremy Clarkson had to demonstrate this by taking the negative approach. He pitted a Toyota Prius against a new BMW M3. No one would ever expect the 414hp V8 powered M3 to get better mileage than a Prius. Unless, of course, you pushed a Prius around a test track as fast it would possibly go and then pacing the hybrid with the M3. Not surprisingly, thrashing a Prius around a track for ten laps provides less than stellar mileage results. Of course to all our surprises the BMW M3 won the contest.
    Toyota Prius = 17.2 mpg. BMW M3 = 19.4 mpg.

  14. Kia will be retaining the Spectra name for the US market. In Europe, the Cerato name will continue on as well.

  15. I will be changing mine’s badging to Forte, because it sound so much more sexy. The Corolla has a 2.4 option, so it makes sense Forte would invade that market.

  16. Cerato isnt very popular here. The only reason they run out of ceratos here is cuz of low import as it wasnt a runaway success but its gradually becoming more popular. Maybe renaming it here would be a good choice as people will not see it as the same cerato and I dont think the name is very nice either. I never liked the name from the start. It sounds weird. Spectra and Forte are both good names.

  17. OzyTone, it may only be 400cc but that represents a 20% increase in displacement. It really comes down to how well it’s matched to the transmission and whether Kia decides to go more for performance or efficiency. The 2.4L motor will be more fun for drivers of automatic equipped cars, but at what cost to fuel economy? As I said earlier, they could set it up to at least match the Optima’s numbers or they could screw it up and do what Mitsubishi did (no offense Mitsu fans [and I’m one of them], but they made a great looking car that gets crap mileage for its class).

    They should take a page from Mazda’s book and offer a couple trim levels with the 2.0 and offer the 2.4 in the higher spec’ed models. That would allow people a choice they don’t currently have and we already know from the Elantra that the 2.0 is well suited to that class of vehicle in terms of power and economy.

    As for the name, it’s ok if they stick with Spectra. If a company continually improves a model and maintains the name, the reputation will grow as well. This is straight from Toyota’s playbook with the Corolla (love it or hate it, Toyota’s done extraordinarily well with that model).

  18. I really like mazda’s engines since they merged with ford cuz of the awesome torque and when they mate it with a 6 speed auto tranny, it gives great acceleration and yet good fuel economy. BUt optima can also do basically the same with a 5 speed manumatic. would be nice if they could put the 5 speed in forte as well.

  19. Mazda develops the 4 cylinders under the Ford umbrella. They’ve done great with the new gen of engines.

  20. “Mazda develops the 4 cylinders under the Ford umbrella.” Exactly why Mazda didn’t make it into the top 10 for reliability.

  21. we’re talking engine power and torque here. And I havent had any probs with maz6 engine as of till now.

  22. no. its just one greg we have posting here. and there’s nothing wrong with maz6 engine greg.

  23. Yes, Kia should go with a new name for a new (and much improved) vehicle. “Forte” is the best option I’ve heard so far. This new vehicle is “loud” in that it hits all the right style points. From a quality and value standpoint, it also demonstrate that Kia “excels.”

  24. Bancho, IMHO 22 in the city and what I’m getting of 32 on the highway ain’t too bad for new world order Mitsubishi Lancer ghastly mileage. I am just so enamored with the car’s beautiful styling that I would buy the car if it got 15 in the city and 20 on the highway. Almost, anyway. But mine’s scoring well in the ghastly mileage department. And I group the 1965 Ford Mustang and the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer together as my two favorite car bodystyles ever, for as long as carmakers have been building cars from any corner of the planet. Ever.

  25. if it’s a compact car the 2.4 will be an option. the 2.4 have not been selling well since fuel went way up. everyone knows it’s going up soon.

    look for a compact car with a 2.0 with 5 speed or 6 speed.. expect better gas mileage..

  26. I really wanted the Soul to come with an optional larger engine, with a little more hp to help lift it’s performance capabilities. Want it really needs is more torque, the 137 rating is adequate, but well below my Suzuki Aerio’s 152 lb/ft…..which peaks at 3000 rpm. Because of the Aerio’s low-end torque, I can shift at 3500 rpm’s and still get lively performance out of it. I had a Elantra 5 years ago, and it was a lil weak in the torque department. I had to flog the car, shifting above 5000 rpms, to get any performance out of it. My fear is that I’ll buy a Soul in the spring, and a year later Kia will offer an optional engine or sportier version. That will suck. I would happily sacrifice a little gas mileage for zippier acceleration and passing capability…..even 10 hp or 10 lb/ft of torque would make a real difference.

  27. Greg, who were you replying to saying that?
    Anyway, I agree with Hako. I love peak torque at low rpm!

  28. Bryan, this is not meant to offend you as I’m a big fan of the current Lancer, but compare the highway rating with that of other compacts as well as mid-size vehicles with 4 cylinder motors. IMO there is really something wrong with the way the compact class is headed. You’re getting good mileage relative to the ratings and you love your car. There’s a lot to be said for that honestly since Mitsubishi’s been hurting badly for a while. It’s just sad when you can buy one of several 4 cylinder mid sized cars and if you drove them with the same care you drive your Lancer with, you’d get better mileage in a larger, heavier vehicle.

    Surprisingly, Mazda seems to be putting some real effort into their base motor and the next Mazda3 will have direct injection on the 2.0L motor. This is interesting as they’ll be making a base motor that is actually somewhat desirable.

    I’m against extra displacement because the extra 400cc (20% larger) does *not* get you 20% better performance in specs, or in real world feel. I’m sure the bit of extra torque the 2.4L will generate at lower RPMs will make the automatic transmission crowd a little happier, but I prefer a manual myself. The current Hyundai Elantra uses the 2.0L motor and gets good marks for it. The mileage ratings are good and it seems to satisfy most reviewers with its overall competence. If Kia keeps the 2.0L for all but some trim levels then I’ll consider them. If they go with the larger motor then I’ll probably look elsewhere. 2010 is coming and there will be a *lot* of good compacts to choose from.

    Gas will not stay as cheap as it is right now. Even if it’s easy for you to afford it’s still a finite resource that we import a great deal of. I’d like to see my vehicles use it in an efficient manner if possible.

  29. Bancho-I agree, the ’08 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS’ gas mileage could definitely be better. I am actually looking at a car that is destined to be imported to the U.S. in 2010 called the Pininfarina-Bollore B0. It is an all-electric car, Google it and read up on it. They are not surmising what they might price it at yet. It is a 4-door, 4 passenger micro-vehicle that has electric capacitors that provide power to the wheels. The capacitors are encased in steel. There are solar panels on the roof(a large one up there)and in the front grille(small one here)that will help regenerate the LMP battery, which has been developed over 15 years by Bollore of France. The small car will also employ regenerative braking, which is also very smart. This is a Pininfarina design and it is quite handsome and futuristic looking. Only 10,000 will be exported worldwide in 2010, then as more batteries become available, production will slowly increase. I have heard pricing estimates ranging from $23,000 to $46,000 for this car, but the person on the blog that said $46,000 pulled that information out of his sleeve somewhere, because Pininfarina-Bollore hasn’t even announced pricing yet. For the LeBlue all-electric car they were developing just ahead of this car(and set aside to concentrate on this car) they were going to charge $23,000. I believe the $23,000 figure a lot more. The websites are stating that Pininfarina is going to sell the car but lease the batteries, too, so that will also figure in to the pricing as well. There’s a lot to learn yet about this car, the manufacturer says that the battery pack will be located underneath the car between the axles for good handling. I’m slightly interested at this point. My ’08 Lancer GTS only has 29,238 miles on it, so it would really have to sway me even in late 2010 to want to get rid of my Lancer. My wife and I only run one car at a time, two cars are not needed and I wouldn’t want to waste the money on two cars. Anyway, Google the car if you’re interested and read up on it-it really appears as if Pininfarina-Bollore has done their homework on this car and this is not a concept car. It looks like one but it is a production car and it is coming to the U.S. in late 2010.

  30. I don’t by any means mean for you to get rid of your Lancer Bryan. Like I said, it’s probably one of the nicest cars Mitsu has made in years and I’m happy to see that after Chrysler’s meddling, they seem to be recovering well. I’m happy to see the development of electric and hybrid vehicles as well. I’ll check on that Pininfarina-Bollore B0. It sounds like an interesting little car. Thanks! :)

  31. Bancho-yeah, I am a car nut and I love to research them. But my wife gets angry-I put a picture of the Pininfarina-Bollore B0 on my Windows page with all of the icons. She saw it and said “You’re not gonna buy another new car are you?” She’s got a point-the ’08 Lancer GTS is only a little over a year and a half old. But in two more years(when this car will be available in the U.S., with 10,000 B0’s available for the U.S.) the situation might change…who knows what gas will cost. Pininfarina-Bollore have hand-picked build materials for this car that are recycleable! I mean, if ever there were a “green” car-this one is it! Let’s put it this way-it’s going to be very difficult to drive this automobile out of my head. =;) Oh, another very important point in my favor here…Arizona is so sunny almost all of the time-that would suit buyers of this 4-door 4-person car perfectly!! It has solar panels on the roof and front grille to re-charge it…not just during drive-time either…while watching a movie in Tucson this thing will draw energy from the sun outside, and even brightish cloudy skies will contribute to the car re-charging it’s capacitors! I don’t want to say the description “perfect” but this car would be perfect for my wife and I. It’s an automatic “transmission” though this car is propelled way differently than a regular automatic-trannied car with it’s all-electrical setup. I’m like a little bratty kid in a candy store researching this little pup! It’s what I’ve been looking for. I’ve already contacted the Company by e-mail with questions, more on this car later.

  32. A good idea would be Kia buying this company out. Doing so would help their eco-friendly image.

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