Kia is set for a landmark year in its history. The three new models on their stand last Tuesday at the 81st Geneva Motor Show is testament to this. The all-new Kia Rio made its debut on the world stage in Switzerland. It was also joined by the all-new Kia Picanto small car is appearing outside Korea for the first time. In addition, the new Kia Optima Hybrid is being shown for the first time to a European audience.
“Kia’s uniquely powerful presence at Geneva embodies three premieres and highlights 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 word, 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.”
Kia’s fourth-generation Rio is best described as a revolution, and not an evolution of its predecessor. It boasts a bold and distinctive personality, combining European finesse (and Latin flair ) with Korean spice to create a global appeal.
Kia tells us that the 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. Together with fuel consumption from only 3.2 litres/100km Rio will be the cleanest non-electric car in Europe.
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 five-door and three-door body styles. Kia say it is set to become one of the most competitive vehicles in the global ‘city car’ A-segment.
The character of the 3.6-metre long new Picanto has been transformed to turn heads on the street, thanks to its good-looking and dynamic design language. Picanto in its newest form exudes a bold self-confidence.
Following its world premiere in the US, Kia is exhibiting its all-new Optima Hybrid family saloon in front of a European audience for the first time. Scheduled to begin mass production in September 2011, the striking saloon pioneers new technologies which are destined to appear in future Kia production models.
Also being displayed on Kia’s stand is an all-new 1.0-litre version of Kia’s popular Kappa petrol engine, which Kia says promises an appealing blend of performance and economy. It adds that the innovative 998 cc engine is Kia’s first three-cylinder unit fitted with a turbocharger, and delivers impressive performance for its capacity (110 ps ), while retaining the key fuel economy benefits of a small displacement engine.
Certainly with such appealing styling, Kia is a marque that is on the move and combined with the seven year warranty, it is little wonder that buyers are finding it an attractive proposition.