Revealed first as a five-door hatchback, the hot Kia Cerato GT has now been unveiled in sedan form in South Korea, where it is badged the K3 GT. Like its tailgate-wearing sibling, this booted variant gets a more powerful engine and a number of other performance-oriented tweaks.

Under the bonnet sits a 1.6 litre Gamma turbocharged and direct-injected (T-GDI) four-cylinder petrol engine, the same one that you’ll find in the Ceed GT. It makes 204 PS at 6,000 rpm and 265 Nm from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm, and unlike its European sibling – which is available with a six-speed manual gearbox – the Cerato GT is only offered with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The chassis has been given a revamp and now sports rear multilink suspension rather than the standard car’s torsion beam setup; together with the revised springs, this improves both ride comfort and cornering stability. Meanwhile, the steering ratio is quicker to improve response, and there are also larger front disc brakes to rein in the increased power and torque output.

Other upgrades include four driving modes (Eco, Sport, Comfort and Smart), an Electronic Sound Generator (ESG) for a rortier engine note and Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres wrapped around intricate 18-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels. Kia is also offering an optional tuning package consisting of Bilstein monotube dampers and stiffer springs, anti-roll bar and control arms, along with even larger front brakes and a less restrictive intake.

To distance itself visually from the cooking Cerato, the GT gets a dark chrome grille with red inserts, as well as side skirts, a red-trimmed gloss black rear diffuser and dual exhaust tips. Inside, you’ll find a GT-badged flat-bottomed steering wheel, bucket seats, alloy pedals and a six-colour ambient lighting system integrated into the dash and door cards, with a variable dot pattern.

Kia has also updated the entire K3 range in Korea for the 2019 model year. All models now get Forward Collision Warning and Avoidance Assist (FCW/FCA), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Driver Attention Warning (DAW) and High Beam Assist (HBA) as standard, and adaptive Smart Cruise Control (SCC) and Blind-spot Collision Warning (BCW) have also been added to the options list.

GALLERY: Kia Cerato GT hatch