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All-new Rio sedan at New York Show

May 17, 2011 / New Kia News Brisbane

(SEOUL) April 22, 2011 – Kia Motors America (KMA) today celebrated the world premier of the all-new 2012 Rio sub-compact sedan at the New York International Auto Show.

Scheduled to join the KMA line-up this fall – along with its 5-door hatchback sibling unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March and shown today for the first time in North America – the all-new Rio sedan ushers in the next chapter of Kia Motors’ ongoing design-led transformation with eye-catching design, advanced technologies and sophistication in the small car segment. With all-new ISG (stop-start) technology and class-leading horsepower and fuel economy up to 40 miles per gallon (5.8L/100km), Rio promises consumers impressive fuel efficiency without sacrificing power or fun-to-drive performance.

“The all-new Rio brings Kia’s successful combination of world-class styling, outstanding fuel economy, advanced technologies and tremendous value to the smallest and most economical vehicle in the Kia line-up,” said Michael Sprague, vice-president, marketing & communications, KMA.  “With gas prices rising, sub-compacts are becoming increasingly popular and with more power, up to 40 miles per gallon fuel economy and stunning design, the all-new Rio sets the standard in the sub-compact class and becomes a vehicle that is not only affordable, but one that people will aspire to own.”

Class-Leading Fuel-Efficiency and Horsepower

Available in the USA with a choice of three trims – LX, EX and SX – the 2012 Rio is powered by a 1.6-litre GDI four-cylinder engine with the option of either a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic.  One of only two vehicles in this segment to offer a GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) engine, the 2012 Rio offers consumers that elusive combination of power and impressive fuel efficiency, achieving class-leading 135HP (100kW) power and class-leading fuel economy rating of 30/40 mpg city/highway (7.8-5.8L/100km). Rio also offers ISG technology, new to the Kia line-up, where the engine turns off when the vehicle is not in motion.  The engine restarts automatically when the driver releases the brake pedal, resulting in lower levels of fuel consumption in stop-start urban traffic.

Sleek and Streamlined Exterior

Conceived at Kia’s design studios in Irvine, California, the all-new Rio sub-compact sedan and hatchback exhibit highly sculpted sloping shoulder lines and wedge-shaped exteriors, projecting an athletic profile that conveys power and agility.  It also echoes the aggressive lines found on other recently launched Kia vehicles such as the 2011 Optima and Sportage.  Both Rio models sport their own interpretations of Kia’s signature grille, slimmed down to connect to the dynamic headlamp design, providing a new twist on the Kia family look that includes a bigger air intake to exude a youthful persona.

Luxuriously Equipped Interior

Inside, the 2012 Rio envelopes driver and passengers in a bold and modern cabin, centred on Kia’s characteristic horizontal three-cylinder instrument cluster and finished in two-tone trim to emphasize a feeling of spaciousness and comfort.  The extended wheelbase (2570mm) greatly enhances passenger and cargo capacity for additional comfort.

In addition to offering a comfortable cabin, impressive technology features also come standard throughout, including an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat audio system with SIRIUS®Satellite Radio capabilities and three months complimentary service and auxiliary and USB audio input jacks for connecting with MP3 players.  The range-topping SX trim offers consumers UVO powered by Microsoft® in-car hands-free communication and entertainment system, complete with rear camera display.

Presenting buyers of sub-compact cars with more choices than ever before, 2012 Rio will offer a selection of optional upgrades with numerous features collected into Convenience, Eco and Premium Packages.

All-New Advanced Platform

The 2012 Rio brings with it an all-new platform – longer, wider and lower than the previous generation.  Its aggressive and playful stance is reinforced by an overall length of 4366mm (Rio sedan) or 4046mm (Rio5) with a platform measuring 1720mm wide and 1455mm high.  Employing high-tensile-strength steel (63 percent), Rio’s lightweight design offers increased torsional stiffness for improved handling, ride quality and refinement, plus increased crash safety capabilities while reducing overall weight.

Safety-Minded

The 2012 Rio is equipped with a high level of standard safety features, including six airbags, three-point seatbelts for all seating positions, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), a four-wheel Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), which coordinates the car’s ESC and ABS to help the driver stay in control of the vehicle at all times.

2011 Kia Optima named to the “Ward’s 10 Best Interiors” list

May 17, 2011 / New Kia News Brisbane

Continually praised for its head-turning exterior design, fun-to-drive performance, and long list of standard safety features, the all-new 2011 Kia Optima has been included as part of “Ward’s 10 Best Interiors” list.

Kia’s midsize sedan was picked for being able to connect with midsize buyers in the US with its upscale and aesthetically pleasing interior packaging, features and overall value.

In Australia, the Optima offers an unbeatable list of standard features that sets it apart from the mid-size sedan market.

This prestigious accolade follows a slew of awards, including earning an overall five-star crash safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), being named a Consumer Guide® Automotive “Best Buy,” a “Top Safety Pick” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), an Edmunds’ InsideLine.com “Editors’ Most Wanted” and “Best New Model” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

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.

Kia Sportage wins ‘Best SUV under $40,000’ at DRIVE awards

December 29, 2010 / New Kia News Brisbane

Kia’s exciting Sportage SUV has kicked an early goal in the awards season with a win in the SUV under $40,000 category at the prestigious Drive awards.

The experienced panel of judges from the respected Drive and Drive.com media group put the all-new Sportage SLi diesel automatic at the top of one of the most crowded and competitive segments in the Australian motoring landscape.

Kia Motors Australia CEO, Mr MK Kim, said he was both delighted and humbled by the decision to give the award to the Sportage.

“We have always believed that the Sportage is an exceptional car, but to have this independent recognition from such a respected body is a wonderful verification of our belief,” Mr Kim said.

“The Sportage, like all of the cars coming from Kia, is the end product of a great deal of work and dedication by everybody within Kia Motors. This recognition is shared by all of us.”

Accepting the award in Melbourne today, Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Mr Tony Barlow said: “You don’t build and launch new cars with awards in mind, but to receive an award such as this is a strong indication that what you are doing is ticking the right boxes.”

Launched in August, the Sportage is a shining example of the marriage of form and function with head-turning styling from Kia’s global design team, led by head designer Peter Schreyer and penned at the company’s Los Angeles Design Studio by Massimo Frascella, and outstanding engineering.

A key feature of the Sportage was the “localisation” of the ride and handling characteristics for the Australian market. The Sportage has specifically tuned spring and damper rates and now boasts tuned MDPS (motor driven power steering) which adds rake and reach adjustment.

Streaming Bluetooth is also standard across the Sportage range.

The 2.0-litre R series diesel is good for 135kW and 392Nm and coupled to the new 6-speed automatic, the performance is class leading.

New safety features include ESC with a new Rollover Sensor, Hillstart Assist Control (to prevent roll-back when starting on an incline and roll-forward when reversing up a slope in reverse with the manual transmission) and Downhill Brake Control (to limit speed during a steep descent).

VW’s World Car Of The Year, the all-new Polo, won the overall Drive Car Of The Year award with Sportage making the top four of the 14 category winners.

KIA Motors Australia posts 25% sales increase for October

November 11, 2010 / New Kia News Brisbane

New Kia BrisbaneKia Motors Australia has continued its impressive 2010 sales growth with yet another strong month in October.

With 1946 vehicles sold in October, making a total of 20,142 so far this year, the refreshed model line-up is continuing to kick goals with a 25.1% month-on-month increase and 24.4% year-to-date increase over last year.

Passenger vehicle sales were up for the month by 20.4% compared to October 2009 but the big increase was in the SUV segment which experienced a huge jump, up 55.6% in the monthly comparison and 69.4% when compared to the same year-to-date period last year.

“Our line up will only continue to get stronger,” said Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer Tony Barlow. “The Peter Schreyer design makes the new cars stand out visually while the torquey new-generation engines are built to perform and to meet the latest emission standards.

“When this is combined with our local optimisation program where we adapt the ride and handling characteristics of our vehicles to specifically meet the tastes of the Australian driver, the Kia range becomes a very attractive proposition for the discerning new car buyer.”

There were a number of highlights for Kia in October, including a strong month by the Carnival people mover, with month on month sales jumping by 134.1%.

The all-new Sportage compact SUV is hitting its mark with the new model outselling the old by 44.6% compared to last October. Its big brother, the Sorento also had a spectacular month with month-on-month figures up 83.3% and year to date sales up 58.4%.

Next on the launch scene for Kia is the 5-door Cerato Hatchback which is landing on showroom floors throughout November. The sporty hatch is already being well received, particularly by the big car hire companies.

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