Kia Motors celebrated two world premieres at the 64thInternationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) today (Tuesday) in Frankfurt, Germany. The powerful, dynamic and forward-looking Kia GT concept car, which signals the company’s distinctive new design direction, was unveiled alongside the new three-door hatchback version of the all-new Rio.
The Kia GT took centre stage on Kia’s stand as Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer revealed the sleek and muscular four-door sports sedan with a rear-wheel drive layout – a first for Kia.
“No matter from which perspective you look at the Kia GT, it is roaring with energy and ready for take-off,” says Peter Schreyer. “I believe this concept car is a strong statement from Kia that we are ready to fast-forward to an all new chapter.”
The 4,690 mm long concept has the classic front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout of a high performance sedan which ensures very different proportions from a front-wheel drive car. The new concept allowed Kia to explore exciting new visual paths – with an extended bonnet, the front wheels pushed to the very front of the car, the cab-rearward stance with powerful rear shoulders and a truncated rear end.
Beneath the extended bonnet, power is provided by a 3.3-liter turbocharged Lambda V6 GDI (gasoline direct injection) engine generating 395 ps and 54.4 kgfm of torque (534 Nm). The transmission is an eight-speed automatic.
The front doors and rear-hinged back doors open at a slight upward angle ensuring easy access to the spacious and airy interior which provides generous, uncluttered cabin accommodation for four – thanks in part to the Kia GT’s unusually long wheelbase (2,860 mm) and despite its low stance, overall height is just 1,380 mm.
Under Schreyer’s guidance, Kia’s European design team set out to create a concept car that was graceful, athletic and confident, but not aggressive or overbearing. The focus on dynamism and pace was enhanced by the aeronautical theme adopted for many of the GT’s features.
Sporty three-door to expand appeal of all-new Rio
Around the world, the five-door hatchback and four-door sedan versions of Kia’s all-new Rio are already generating positive reviews in the press, and strong demand from customers. Now, the appeal of Kia’s latest model will expand even further with the introduction of the company’s first-ever three-door hatchback Rio in selected markets.
Designed primarily to attract younger buyers to Kia for the first time, the three-door Rio will boost conquest sales after its introduction during the first quarter of 2012. Ultimately, Kia expects the three-door Rio to account for between 20 to 25 per cent of total Rio sales.
New Rio three-door has the same dimensions as the five-door model (length 4,045 mm, width 1,720 mm, height 1,455 mm and wheelbase 2,570 mm) and retains the same low roofline, emphasizing its sporty stance. In most markets, it will be available with the same range of powertrains, equipment and options as the five-door model.
With a total of three bodystyles for all-new Rio, plus the already-popular five-door refreshed Soul and five-door Venga (in Europe), Kia is confident of capturing an even larger share of the increasingly popular global compact car market.
“Once again the Grand Carnival has proven a winner in the public forum,” Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Mr Tony Barlow, says. “The Grand Carnival has consistently dominated sales in the people mover segment of the market and the carsales.com.au People’s Choice Award only underscores that.”
One in three people movers sold in Australia during November was a Kia Grand Carnival.
“It is also especially pleasing that the Grand Carnival is the third model out of Kia’s seven-model line-up to win award recognition this year follow Sportage’s success in Drive’s Best SUV under $40,000 category and Sorento’s win in the SUV over $40,000 category at Australia’s Best Cars.”
The carsales.com.au People’s Choice Awards are considered an important measure of the strength of brands and models in the new car marketplace. Voting is based on genuine customer new car purchase enquiries placed via carsales’ network of sites, including carsales.com.au, CarPoint.com.au, Redbook.com.au, discountnewcars.com.au and prestigenewcars.com.au.
The votes were tallied over a 12-month period from November 1, 2009 to October 31, 2010 with each vote equalling one genuine enquiry on a new car via one of the above mentioned carsales network websites.
Research shows a very high correlation between genuine enquiry and new car purchases. This makes the People’s Choice Awards a valuable indicator of the fortunes of brands and models within the private new car market.
carsales.com.au CEO Greg Roebuck says the 2010 carsales.com.au People’s Choice Awards were announced amidst a strongly recovering new car marketplace.
“After a challenging period for new car brands, 2010 has seen us back on track to top the million new car sales mark. The 2010 PCA winners have benefited from having great product in the market at the right time,” Roebuck said.
“The results of the carsales.com.au People’s Choice Awards reflect strongly the sentiments and purchasing decisions of private new car buyers. Unlike other awards, the winners are not chosen by a select group of people but rather the general car shopping public. They are the result of the literally hundreds of thousands of enquiries made by new car shoppers.”