While gathering resources for an upcoming review on another Korean sports car, I found out that Kia revealed a new sporty Forte at SEMA that no one seems to be talking about. It’s the 2020 Forte GT, sporting a more athletic bodykit, some more pep in its step, and most importantly, a six-speed manual transmission. The gods have blessed us.

The GT model continues the spark in the brand started by cars like the Stinger, featuring a sharper and sportier outlook and overall design. The GT sports all of the features of the GT-Line model which seats below it, with a more athletic tune to the suspension and motor, bringing up power to an even 201 bhp, a respectable number for the segment. The suspension is now a fully-independent setup, with larger disk brakes front and rear and added sway bars, firming up ride and suspension all together. Aside from the aforementioned 6-speed manual, buyers can also opt for a 7-speed automatic, but in a car like this, where’s the fun in that?

Cars like this, the Stinger, and the Genesis brand have really given me a new outlook on the Korean car industry, and it’s got me thinking. I firmly believe that Korea is doing a lot, lot more for enthusiast culture than a lot of other countries are doing, and that’s a bold statement for the country that gave us cars like the 2002 Spectra GS. It’s a true show that countries can bring themselves out of a bad stigma, and while its unknown whether this Forte GT is worth the buzz, it’s definitely great to see a brand trying to keep this type of spirit alive.

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Needless to say, I’m impressed by the idea of this sporty Forte. It seems perfectly poised to attack the sport compact market with cars like the Honda Civic Si, and it looks like it’ll be a good choice for someone looking to buy a cheap car with a bit of enthusiast blood in it. I can’t wait to try and get my hands on one when it comes time.