The all-new Kia Picanto, making its global premiere at the Geneva Motor Show, has been redesigned and re-engineered with stand-out styling to completely redefine its position as one of the most competitive vehicles in the global 'city car' A-segment.
With looks that convey a sense of solidity and maturity, new efficient engines and reduced CO2 emissions from 90 g/km, high levels of specification and safety features, the Kia Picanto will be offered for the first time with a choice of 5-door and 3-door body styles.
UK consumers will benefit from the next generation Kia Picanto's greatly reduced CO2 emissions, improved fuel economy and reduced ownership costs when the model goes on sale later this year.
The interior architecture shows the same chic functionality as the exterior with major controls arranged in an attractive and easy to use layout which emphasises the width and space of the interior. The thick rimmed two-spoke steering wheel and the signature Kia 'three cylinder' instrument cluster with its clear and precise graphics, reflect the consistency with which the new design philosophy is being used throughout the Kia product line-up.
New Kia Picanto will also be available with automatically controlled air-conditioning, electronic and heated folding door mirrors with side repeaters, automatic light control with 'escort' and 'welcome' modes, steering wheel mounted audio controls, retractable dual cup holders.
Other new features available include smart-key entry system with engine start/stop button, AUX, iPod and USB connections for the RDS radio CD player with MP3 compatibility, Bluetooth hands-free with voice recognition, heated front seats and Intelligent Stop and Go that further enhances fuel economy.
In Europe, every new Kia Picanto will come with a highly efficient Kappa engine that helps lower this model's CO2 base-line to just 95 g/km and improves fuel consumption to as much as 67.3 mpg.
Three versions of the Kappa will be offered - two in the UK. A four-cylinder, 1,248 cc engine that generates 85 ps and 121 Nm of torque tops the line-up. Two three-cylinder, 998 cc units will present customers with a choice of petrol or Bi-fuel technologies (LPG + petrol) - Bi-fuel is available in selected countries but not the UK. The petrol engine produces 69 ps and 95 Nm of torque. The Bi-fuel unit delivers 82 ps and 94 Nm of torque.
This combination of advanced technologies means that exhaust emissions have been significantly reduced, so that the new, petrol only, Kia Picanto line-up will have a CO2 rating of 99 to 125 g/km. Fuel economy will range from 67.3 to 42.2 mpg, contributing to lower running costs.
Selected models will also be available with Kia's fuel-stretching EcoDynamics technologies (automatic stop-start - ISG, advanced alternator control, upgraded starter motor and low-rolling resistance tyres), cutting emissions even further - to between 95 and 102 g/km.
The standard transmission for all engines in new Picanto will be a 5-speed manual, while a 4-speed automatic gearbox will be available as an option on the 1.25-litre 85 ps engine.
The all-new bodyshell created for the Kia Picanto uses a higher percentage of high-strength steel and incorporates ring-shaped reinforcing loops within the B- and C-pillars, plus additional bracing at the front between the cowl and suspension towers for improved rigidity.
For greater side-impact protection, the B-pillar and side sills are reinforced with high-tensile steel plates, the anti-intrusion door-beams are extended to overlap the B-pillar and polyurethane pads are fitted within the front door trims.
Available safety equipment will include up to six airbags, electronic stability control and hill-start assist.
For additional safety, an Emergency Stop Signal system is standard in Europe. Sensors detect when the driver is braking suddenly and hard, and then flash the brake lights three times to alert following drivers that the car is slowing rapidly.
Pedestrian safety has also been improved by fitting a new cross-member below the front bumper, creating a deformable cowling ahead of the windscreen and off-setting the hood striker by 50 mm from the car's centre line.Published 1 March 2011