2014 Kia Forte Koup at the 2013 New York Auto Show

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  • Competes with: Honda Civic Si, VW GTI, Hyundai Veloster Turbo
  • Looks like: Kia’s design language doesn’t work on every body style
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive with either 173-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission or 201-hp, turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder, six-speed manual or automatic transmission
  • Hits dealerships: End of 2013

Kia has a unique strategy for its Forte lineup that makes a lot of sense. The volume sedan comes with two engines — one vanilla, one not — for 2014. The 2014 Forte Koup announced today starts with that un-vanilla engine and then throws in some more spice in the form of a 201-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder.

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It’s the same choice of engines as the recently announced Forte 5-Door.

The two-door version’s power plants put out 201 hp and 195 pounds-feet of torque for the turbo and 173 hp and 154 pounds-feet of torque for the 2.0. Fuel economy wasn’t released, but the EPA recently rated the 2.0-liter Forte sedan at 24 mpg city, 36 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined for the six-speed automatic, which is the only option for the coupe. The turbo engine will be available with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

Car shoppers can easily figure out which trim levels get which engines. The base EX comes only with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder along with 16-inch alloy wheels standard, while the turbo is only available in the SX, which rolls on standard 18-inch alloys.

The EX comes relatively well equipped with Kia’s UVO voice recognition system, backup camera, Bluetooth, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, power windows and LED running lights and fog lights.

The SX adds dual chrome exhaust tips, revised front bumper and grille and larger rear bumper, LED taillights, larger font brakes, alloy foot pedals and various “carbon fiber-look” trim pieces inside and out.

Options for both trim levels include navigation, high-intensity discharge headlights, sunroof, remote entry, push-button start, dual-zone climate control and leather seats with heated front seats and heated and cooled driver’s seat.

The Koup will go on sale in the fourth quarter of this year following the spring rollout of the 2014 sedan and summer availability of the 5-Door.

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Former managing editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David Thomas

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