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Kia Picanto three-door wins prestigious design award

November 25, 2011 / New Kia News Brisbane

(SEOUL) November 4, 2011 — Just a couple months after its launch, the sporty Kia Picanto three-door model, available exclusively in Europe, has been honoured with the coveted iF product design award 2012.  This award recognizes design quality alongside a number of other criteria, including workmanship, level of innovativeness and eco-friendliness.  It is the first time that Kia has offered its popular A-segment Picanto in three-door form.

For Kia Motors this is the fourth iF product design award in three years, following prizes for the Venga B-segment MPV (2010), Sportage compact SUV (2011) and Optima mid-size sedan (2011).  Additionally, the brand has won the red dot design award four times in recent years.

“Receiving the iF product design award for the new Kia Picanto is a great success for our design team and it is welcome recognition of our brand’s design oriented strategy,” said Kia’s Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer.  “The second generation of the Picanto displays a very purposeful, self-assured design, and its sportiness is particularly underscored by the three-door version.”

The 3.6-metre long Kia Picanto boasts bold and dynamic styling, high-quality interior fittings and host of class-leading features.  It is specifically aimed at discerning customers, especially the steadily increasing number of consumers who wish to ‘downsize’ and switch to a smaller car.

In most markets, Picanto is available with two highly efficient petrol engines (51kW and 63kW) which, in combination with the optional automatic stop-start ISG system, reduces CO2 emissions to as low as 95 g/km.  Kia’s unique 7-year/150,000 km Warranty comes as standard on all Picanto cars sold in Western Europe countries.

A five-door bodystyle of the Picanto is available in most global markets.  In Europe, the three-door version is expected to account for 36% of total Picanto sales.  Through the first nine months of 2011, the Picanto (new generation and first generation combined) is one of Kia’s best-selling models globally, with 179,405 units delivered.

“We are confident that the new Picanto will redefine the small car segment by offering many features found only in larger cars, enhanced passenger comfort and increased cargo space,” said Tae-Hyun (Thomas) Oh, Senior Executive Vice-President and COO, Kia Motors Corporation.  “This award for our first three-door offering in the A-segment is yet another clear indication that our efforts aimed at positioning Kia as a design-led brand are paying dividends.”

Since its launch in 1953, the iF product design award has been conferred annually and is among the world’s most important prizes for excellence in design.  The award has its origins in the “Die gute Industrieform” (Good Industrial Design) product shows initiated by Hanover Messe and is now one of the world’s largest design competitions.  For 2012, a total of 2,923 products were registered in 16 different categories.  The Kia Picanto was honoured in the ‘Transportation Design’ category, which includes cars, ships, trains and aircraft.

The official presentation ceremony for the iF product design awards 2012 will take place on 10 February 2012 during the Munich Creative Business Week. All the winning products will be on display at the Hannover Exhibition Centre (6-10 March 2012), the iF design exhibition in Hamburg and at a subsequent iF design exhibition in Hainan, China.

Kia celebrates a landmark year. Kia Brisbane News, read more here…

March 7, 2011 / New Kia News Brisbane

(SEOUL) March 1, 2011 – Kia is celebrating a ‘landmark year’ in its remarkable history by holding the premieres of three new models at the81st Salon International de l’Auto in Geneva today (Tuesday).  The all-new Kia Rio compact car is making its debut on the world stage in Switzerland.  The all-new Kia Picanto small car is appearing outside Korea for the first time.  And the new Kia Optima Hybird is being shown for the first time to a European audience.

new kia brisbane

“Kia’s uniquely powerful presence at Geneva will embody three premieres and highlight our brand’s design-led revolution, world-class engineering and advanced hybrid technologies,” commented Hyoung-Keun Lee, Vice-Chairman, Kia Motors Corporation. “In Europe and around the world, the small and compact car markets account for a huge percentage of global sales, so the introduction of new Picanto and new Rio is immensely significant for Kia in what I am sure will be a ‘landmark year’ for our brand.

During the on going global economic uncertainty, Kia products have maintained their appeal to consumers.  Last year we delivered more than 2 million vehicles to customers, an increase of 27 per cent over 2009.

“This year, I am confident that the popularity our recent introductions – Venga, Sorento, Sportage, Optima and Cadenza – will be greatly boosted by the arrival of new Picanto and new Rio in Kia showrooms,” concluded Mr Lee.

Revolutionary new Kia Rio brings design flair to B-segment

Kia’s fourth-generation Rio is a revolution, not an evolution of its predecessor.  It boasts a bold and distinctive personality, bringing the latest model into line with Kia’s design-led product range.  New Rio combines European finesse with Korean spice to create a form language that also communicates Latin flair, for a truly global appeal.

Longer, wider and lower, new Rio is set to completely redefine its position as one of the most competitive vehicles in one of the most competitive sectors – the B-segment.  New Rio will deliver low running costs and class-leading CO2 emissions – with target figures for the model range starting at just 85 g/km.

New Rio will be available with three bodystyles for the first time – four-door sedan, five-door hatchback and (from 2012) a new three-door hatchback – depending on market. The five-door (on show at Geneva) has a length of 4045 mm, the sedan will measure 4,365 mm (giving a 33% increase in trunk space to 390 litres) and all models feature a wheelbase extended by 70 mm (to 2570 mm) – greatly enhancing passenger space and cargo capacity.

The Kia Rio will offer an extensive line-up of six fuel-efficient, low CO2 engines, with the local powertrain selection tailored to best suit individual markets and consumer preferences.  Power outputs will range from 51kW (1.1-litre three-cylinder diesel in Europe), up to 103kW (1.6-litre GDI gasoline four-cylinder engine for North America).

To complement the striking exterior, Rio’s interior design has also been transformed to give the car a genuine premium feel.  Customers can select from a choice of two-tone interiors and numerous trim packs to create their own bespoke interior – underlining the fresh focus for new Rio as a mature, refined compact car.

A small car, grown up – the all-new Kia Picanto

The all-new Kia Picanto is now a small car, grown up.  It has been redesigned and re-engineered with stand-out styling that conveys a sense of solidity and maturity.  Longer than the previous model, and with an extended wheelbase, new Picanto will be offered for the first time with a choice of 5-door and 3-door body styles, it is set to become one of the most competitive vehicles in the global ‘city car’ A-segment.

The character of 3.6-metre long new Picanto has been transformed from ‘cute’ and ‘friendly’ into mature and handsome, designed to turn heads on the street, thanks to its good looking, sexy proportions and dynamic design language.  Picanto in its newest form exudes a bold self confidence which is unique in its segment.

Picanto’s new cabin will offer buyers numerous ‘big car’ comfort and convenience features – many of them fitted for the first time on a car in this segment – plus material quality and the range of trim choices that introduce a ‘premium’ level of individualisation to this segment.  The interior can be chic, sporty or premium, depending on the customer’s preference.

Every new Picanto will come with a highly efficient engine from Kia’s ‘Kappa’ family of power units.  Globally, four versions of the Kappa will be offered with power outputs ranging from 51-to-63kW.  The Picanto’s base-line CO2 figure has been lowered to just 90 g/km, with fuel consumption as low as 4.1 litres/100 km.

European premiere of Kia Optima Hybrid sedan

Following its world premiere in the USA, Kia is exhibiting its all-new Optima Hybrid sedan in front of a European audience for the first time, raising Kia’s environmental credentials to a new level.  Taking Kia forward into its ‘EcoDynamics’ era, the 4.85-metre long Optima Hybrid pioneers new technologies which are destined to appear in future Kia production models.

Scheduled to begin mass production in the first half of 2011, the Optima Hybrid employs a truly innovative Kia-developed hybrid powertrain with a combined (electric motor plus gasoline engine) output of 154kW and 265 Nm of torque.  Consequently, Kia’s latest sedan delivers a unique blend of performance – acceleration to 100 kph in 9.2 seconds and a top speed of 195 kph – plus class-leading fuel economy, achieving a 40.7 per cent fuel consumption improvement compared with a regular 2.4-litre Optima.

Kia’s ingenious, simple and cost-effective ‘parallel hybrid system’ features a special clutch fitted between the 2.4-litre gasoline engine and the small 30kW electric motor, enabling the gasoline engine to be de-coupled from the powertrain so the sleek sedan can be operated in zero-emissions, full-electric drive mode from standstill up to 100 kph. Throughout the entire driving experience the hybrid operation is automatic and seamless.

Kia’s Optima Hybrid employs a new lithium polymer battery pack developed with LG Chem.  Battery reliability is so good that the Optima’s pack will not need replacing in the vehicle’s lifespan – at least 10 years and 150,000 miles.

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