Tuesday, 4 January 2011

New Car: 2011 Kia Picanto/Morning

Updated: 24/01/11

Following yesterday’s spy photos of the Picanto/Morning undisguised on a commercial shoot, Kia has taken the wraps of the all-new city-car by releasing official photos.

This time round, Kia is targeting a younger, more style-conscious customer. The instantly recognisable ‘tiger’ grille gives the car ocular links with other Kia models, while its erect stance, stubby nose and projector-type rearward swept headlights give a strong resemblance of the Venga sub-compact MPV, and make the city-car more mature.

Kia’s Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, said, “In profile, new Picanto features significant sculpting and a very prominent rising character line. The result is a layering of light and shadow and this breaks up the height, giving the car a more sure-footed stance.”

A 2-spoke steering wheel and metallic internal finishes give the Picanto/Morning a classy environment. Air conditioning and audio controls will be fixed on the centre console.

The new car is longer than the current model at 3,720mm, with a longer wheelbase to offer more cabin space for occupants. The 5dr model will be sold globally, however, a sportier 3dr is likely to remain exclusively in Europe and will launch in Autumn as a 2012 model.

Powering the Picanto/Morning will be a variety of engines. On the petrol side, a 68bhp (67PS/51kW) 1.1 produces 94Nm (69lb-ft) of torque, and will be offered in certain markets, while a 1.25 litre 84bhp (83PS/63kW) produces 121Nm (89lb-ft) of torque. In addition, a 69bhp (68PS/51kW) 1.0 3-cylinder will be offered internationally. The former may eventually be replaced with an 80bhp (79PS/60kW) and a turbocharged 110bhp (109PS/82kW) 1.0 litre or 1.2 litre. These engines will be offered in LPG, bi-fuel and flex-fuel variations, depending on local market requirements.

On the diesel side, the current 1.1 litre 4-cylinder diesel will be offered in selected markets. This will be available with 75bhp (74PS/56kW) and produce 151Nm (112lb-ft) of torque.

Engines will be linked to either 5 speed manual or 4 speed automatic transmissions, depending on the model. Exhaust emissions have been significantly reduced, so that regular models will have a CO2 rating of 95g to 105g/km. Fuel economy for all of the engines is also improved.

In the UK, some models will be available with Kia’s fuel-stretching ISG technologies, cutting emissions to between 90g and 100g/km and further improve fuel economy.

South Korean models will be equipped with amenities like heated steering wheel, keyless entry & start, satellite navigation system, x6 airbags, automatic climate control, Bluetooth, cruise control, and LED day-time running lights, while European models obtain x6/x7 airbags, keyless entry and start, and Bluetooth.

The next generation Picanto/Morning will receive its official unveiling at the Geneva International Motor Show on Tuesday 1st March 2011 with European sales starting shortly after.

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