kia forte spy 01

Well, lookee here, it’s the Kia Forte K3 again. The second-gen YD mule, first seen on local roads last November, is back doing its evaluation rounds, plying the North-South highway. In this case, near Ipoh.

It’s wearing the same trade plate, though now there’s a bit less cladding than before; the front and rear end masks haven’t been touched, but the rear side panel door apron is gone. Will the striptease act continue the next time the car is seen?

The Kia Forte K3 was launched in Korea last September, so the evaluation mule’s sighting here two months after that could be definitely termed quick.

We reported back then that it wouldn’t be until sometime early this year that the sedan – which debuted in its home market with a 138 hp and 167 Nm 1.6 litre direct-injected four-cylinder mill – would make its debut here, but the word on the grapevine is that it’ll actually be mid-year before it finally arrives, and reportedly the EX variant will be dropped for the YD, here at least.

The Forte has since made its North American debut, the USDM variant debuting in December, and the five-door hatch version premiered recently in Chicago, with up to 201 hp to be had from that one.