While some major motor manufacturers are re-assessing the need for future generations of small and medium-sized sedan cars, Kia appears to be going full steam ahead with a new third-generation of the Forte. The South Korean automaker has released a handful of renderings ahead of a full reveal at the Detroit auto show next week, and if small sedans are going to survive the sales onslaught from crossovers and SUVs, they'll probably need to look like this one.

Kia's Stinger sport fastback is gaining huge acclaim around the world, so it's no surprise the new Forte bears more than a passing resemblance to its stunning styling. The current Forte is an attractive, if somewhat conventional design that won't offend anyone, but the new model looks like something that could really get consumers interested in this type of car once again.

It sticks with a version of the company's trademark tiger-nose grille, but now adds a number of design elements to the sheet metal, lower valance and headlights that it refers to as "muscular" and "dynamic." And don't think the influence of the Stinger's design ends with the exterior, because it definitely carries through to the interior too, with a look that's open, spacious and horizontal.

Although the renderings appear to show a liftback body style, Kia isn't saying yet whether a production version will stick with the format or adopt a more conventional hatchback configuration instead.

At the moment, Kia doesn't offer the Forte in Europe. And it seems there are no plans to offer this one to European buyers at the moment either. But if the Stinger proves to be as successful as its initial reception suggests it might be, Kia might be tempted to rethink this one in the future as demand for the Stinger could easily outstrip supply.