IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Following six months of round-the-clock vehicle build-up and testing in preparation for the 2010 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season, Kia Motors' first-ever U.S. motorsports program reaches the track later this week with two Forte Koups competing in the Fresh From Florida 200 at Daytona Speedway on January 29. KMA and racing partner Kinetic Group have built the No. 10 and No. 12 Kia Forte Koups, which are sponsored by Infinity® Audio Systems, to campaign in the Street Tuner (ST) class.
The No. 10 car – representing Kia's industry-leading 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty – will be co-driven by Andy Lally and Nic Jonsson, while the No. 12 car will be piloted by the 2007 GRAND-AM ST champions Trevor Hopwood and Adam Burrows.
"From the moment we announced Kia Motors was getting into racing we believed the Forte Koup would be a strong competitor in GRAND-AM, and the feedback we've received from Kinetic and Andy Lally and Nic Jonsson after their initial testing reinforces that belief," said Michael Sprague, vice president of marketing, KMA. "Consumers have come to recognize the Kia brand for attractively designed and priced vehicles that are fuel efficient and have a long list of standard features, and we are looking forward to introducing Forte Koup and the Kia brand to a new audience of auto racing fans throughout the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season."
The Forte Koup's performance-inspired styling and outstanding driving dynamics are a perfect fit for road racing, making Kia Motors' first two-door coupe the logical choice for KMA's initial motorsports efforts. KMA selected the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Challenge Sports Car Challenge series, which utilizes production-based race cars from the U.S., Europe and Asia, for its competitive nature and use of weight and intake restrictions to maintain a level playing field for all entrants.
As part of the motorsports program development, KMA partnered with the Kinetic Group to develop, build and campaign the two Forte Koup Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race cars. Headquartered outside of Atlanta, Kinetic has competed in GRAND-AM racing since 2006 and added several specialists to its team of engineers, mechanics and crew for the Kia Motors racing program while also working closely with GRAND-AM to build the cars within strict series guidelines. The two-door, front-wheel-drive race cars utilize the Forte Koup production car's 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine.
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America (KMA) is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 670 dealers throughout the United States. For 2009, KMA recorded its 15th consecutive year of increased U.S. market share and recently achieved its best quarter of sales ever. Kia Motors subscribes to a philosophy of building high value, high quality, safe and dynamic vehicles. Kia Motors prides itself on producing vehicles that are exciting and enabling and evoke the Kia tagline "The Power to Surprise."
Available in two trims, EX and SX, Forte Koup offers consumers an aggressively styled performance-inspired two-door coupe with an abundance of amenities as well as impressive power. All Forte Koup models feature Bluetooth® connectivity with steering wheel-mounted controls that enable voice-activated hands-free operation for compatible cell phones and a six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system outfitted with SIRIUS Satellite Radio and three months of complimentary service(1). For added listening convenience, steering wheel-mounted audio controls also come standard on all models, as well as USB and auxiliary input jacks in the center console with full iPod® and MP3 controllability via the audio head unit or steering wheel-mounted controls.
Kia Motors America is the "Official Automotive Partner of the NBA." Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available at its Web site – www.kia.com. For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com.
(1) Customers must renew SIRIUS subscription after trial period if they wish to retain service
SOURCE Kia Motors America