Posts Tagged ‘kia’
To coincide with the unveiling of the all-new Kia Forte sedan in the USA last week, at the LA Motor Show, Kia has revealed details of the version for other export markets outside of North America, the all-new Kia Cerato. This model is scheduled to go on sale during the first quarter of 2013 at Kia dealerships in many countries around the world. Kia’s most successful seller in overseas markets, the Cerato has achieved more than 2.5 million global sales since its introduction in 2004, including 445,000 units in 2011 when it accounted for 17.9 per cent of Kia’s total worldwide sales. Now, the third-generation Cerato boasts sleeker styling with ‘dynamic muscularity’ in a design that is longer, lower and wider than the current car, with an extended wheelbase. It also features an all-new bodyshell, upgraded equipment, a host of additional convenience and safety features, a more spacious cabin with enhanced quality, improved refinement and an upgraded powertrain line-up that delivers class-leading performance and fuel economy. “Cerato has become our brand’s biggest-selling export vehicle, so the introduction of this third-generation model is a major event for Kia,” commented Thomas Oh, Kia’s Executive Vice President & COO of the International Business Division. “We are raising our game once again with the all-new Cerato, which adds emotional appeal to its core values of design, quality and value. It will surely boost our competitiveness in the compact car segment, one of the world’s most important and fiecely fought marketplaces. “All-new Cerato is hugely significant for Kia, as it is a bold demonstration that we continue to be determined to deliver cars which exceed customer expectations and provide a rewarding ownership experience,” added Mr. Oh. Designed at Kia’s American Design Centre in Irvine, California under the direction of Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, the new Cerato has cab-forward styling, a coupe-like roofline, distinctive concave door contours and a rising beltline with chrome moulding extending into the C-pillar to project an aura of elegance. Careful attention to surface detailing and airflow-smoothing panels beneath the car have cut the sedan’s aerodynamic drag to Cd 0.27 (down from 0.29). Compared with second-generation, new Cerato is 30 mm longer (4560 mm), 16.5 mm lower (1435, 1445, or 1460 mm) depending on market and 5 mm wider (1780 mm), with the wheelbase extended by 50 mm (2700 mm) to become the longest in class – now the same as Kia’s Sorento SUV. Boot capacity is increased to 421 litres which is the largest in class. The interior design of new Cerato concentrates on sportiness and adopts nature’s ebbs and flows as a motif. The sweeping curve of the centre stack is reinforced by carbon-look trim and for enhanced elegance, soft-touch materials are applied to the upper and centre door trims, dashboard, and door armrests. Interior comfort is enhanced by lowering the cabin floor and the seats (by 26 mm front and 20 mm rear), and by fitting wider front seat cushions with an increased cushion angle for greater thigh support. A choice of black one-tone and gray two-tone cloth or leather upholstery, and two optional ‘colour packs’ featuring brown and black or white and black leather, will be offered. Available options (depending on model) include 10-way powered and ventilated driver’s seat, heated front and rear seats, leather upholstery, powered glass tilt-and-slide sunroof, smart keyless entry with engine start/stop button, Xenon headlamps, Bluetooth hands-free system with remote controls, manual and dual-zone climate control automatic air-conditioning. In most export markets outside of North America, new Cerato will be offered with a choice of two petrol power plants. Kia’s 118kW 2.0-litre Nu engine (power up 3.2 per cent) and the popular 96kW 1.6-litre Gamma engine (power up 4.8 per cent). Every all-new Cerato model features a six-speed transmission, which together with the lightweight aluminum engines, enable new Cerato to deliver a highly competitive combination of class-best power with modest fuel consumption and low emissions. New Cerato can accelerate to 100kph in as little as 8.5 seconds, reach a top speed of 210kph and achieve a combined cycle fuel consumption figure of 6.5 l/100 km – depending on model. While the specification of the new Cerato’s suspension is unchanged, it has been fine-tuned to improve agility, shock absorbance and refinement. The suspension’s geometry is modified to deliver improved steering feel. To maximize occupant protection the new bodyshell incorporates 63 per cent of high-strength steel with three additional cross members and greatly strengthened B-pillars. Torsional rigidity of the bodyshell is increased by 37 per cent (over the previous model), improving safety, refinement, ride comfort and steering precision. Following the introduction of the all-new Cerato sedan, five-door hatchback and two-door coupe variants of the new generation model will go on sale in the second half of 2013. A wagon version will not be built.
ANCAP have been crashing them again with some new models being put to the test, the crash test. The Australasian New Car Assessment Program announced a 5 star safety rating for Kia’s Picanto, while the Jeep Wrangler has scored 4 stars. The New Zealand-sold Kia Picanto small car has achieved the maximum 5 star ANCAP safety rating with dual front, side and head-protecting side curtains airbags; antilock brakes (ABS); electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD); and electronic stability control (ESC) all standard. The pedestrian protection rating of the Picanto is ‘Marginal’. “The 5 star ANCAP safety rating achieved by the Kia Picanto provides New Zealand motorists with yet another safe model to choose from,” said ANCAP Chairman, Mr Lauchlan McIntosh. The popular Jeep Wrangler (2 door 3.6L V6) Sports Utility Vehicle, introduced into Australia in 2007, has achieved a 4 star ANCAP safety rating. The Wrangler provides dual front airbags however chest and head-protecting side airbags are optional at added cost. Head-protecting side airbags are required to achieve a 5 star ANCAP safety rating. The level of protection provided to pedestrians by the Wrangler is rated as ‘Poor’. Mr McIntosh said, “There are now many SUVs which have been awarded the maximum 5 star ANCAP safety rating. Consumers should make sure they make a 5 star choice when buying their next car and they can do that by checking the ANCAP website or on their smartphone.”
Kia’s all-new Rondo come out from under the covers last week at the opening of the Australian International Motor Show and the new compact MPV is designed for modern families. The Rondo has a choice of four different powertrains, Australian specifications not yet released, and offers seven seats and a broad range of convenience and safety features. The Rondo is the third-generation and is set to attract even more customers to the Kia brand. “The all-new Rondo enhances Kia’s presence in a segment that, in Europe, is one of the most important and competitive new car categories,” said Tony Barlow, Kia Motors Australia’s Chief Operating Officer. “For Australia, the segment is much smaller but in the stylish new Rondo we believe we have a car that will give a viable and attractive option to those who have a need for extra seating but do not wish to drive an SUV. “The new Rondo will have great appeal to families with an active lifestyle who don‘t want to compromise between style and practicality.” Measuring up against the outgoing model the new Kia Rondo is 20mm shorter, 15mm narrower and 40mm lower. Its overall height (1610mm) is the same as the Kia Soul and is one of the lowest in class which gives the model a sporty appearance. Cabin space is generous thanks to the new model’s increased wheelbase (up by 50mm) and cab-forward design which places the base of the A-pillar above the front-wheel centre line. To deliver the maximum carrying versatility expected by MPV customers, the front passenger seat backrest can fold forwards, the second row features three individual sliding/folding seats split 33/33/33 and the third row seats split 50/50 and fold flat into the trunk floor when not required. A comfortable environment for the driver and passengers is assured by either manual or automatic air-conditioning depending on model, rear air vents and optional side window blinds. A special wide-angle mirror in the overhead console allows parents to safely monitor their children while on the move. Storage compartments are conveniently located throughout the new Rondo with under-seat drawers, under-floor storage boxes, a deep centre console cubby hole and large door pockets. Cruise control with a speed limiter will be standard on all models. Available features will include an electric parking brake, smart key with engine start/stop button, a six-speaker audio system with optional amplifier and sub-woofer, puddle lights in the exterior front door handles, and an optional large powered panoramic glass sunroof. In Europe, Rondo will have a choice of four engines. Two diesel and two petrol power units, which offer a broader power spread than the previous model – ranging from 84.6 kW to 130 kW with competitive fuel economy and CO2 emissions from 118 to 167 g/km for manual models. The 1.7-litre diesel engine is already popular in a variety of Kia vehicles around the world and in new Rondo it will be available in two versions. The low power version generates 84.6 kW maximum power and 260 Nm maximum torque. The high power unit produces 100 kW and 330 Nm. To help optimise the balance between performance and economy, every new Rondo will be fitted with a six-speed transmission. Low first and second gear ratios boost low-speed acceleration, while high top (sixth) gear ratios allow low engine revs during high-speed cruising – reducing cabin noise, enhancing refinement and lowering fuel consumption. In Europe, an all-disc braking system – with 300 mm ventilated front, and 284 mm solid rear discs – is standard on all models. The performance of the braking system is supported by ABS anti-lock, electronic brake force distribution and emergency ‘brake assist’ systems. Braking from 100 kph takes 40.8 metres. The standard wheel and tyre package for Europe is a 16-inch steel wheel with 205/55 R16 low rolling resistance tyres, or similar size alloy wheels. To suit customer preference, new 17-inch silver and 18-inch dark grey alloy wheels with lower-profile tyres are also available. Kia has a strong record for producing vehicles that offer customers high levels of active and passive safety technology. The all-new bodyshell created for the new Rondo incorporates Kia’s latest CAD techniques and structural lessons from recent Kia models. Manufactured with a high percentage of high-strength steel, the new bodyshell will contribute to new Rondo earning an anticipated 5-Star rating in Euro NCAP and ANCAP crash safety tests. Innovative ‘active’ safety features available for the new Rondo in some markets will include LDWS (Lane Departure Warning System) and SPAS (Smart Parking Assist System). LDWS uses a forward-facing video camera to monitor the car’s position in relation to lane markings and triggers a warning in case of unintended lane departures at speeds above 60 kph. SPAS features automatic steering control by ultrasonic sensors and an on-board computer to safely perform parallel parking. The computer ‘takes over’ the task of steering, while the driver remains in control of the accelerator and brake. Safety during parking manoeuvres can be enhanced by using the available rear-view safety camera, while visibility during night-time driving can be enhanced by specifying HID Xenon headlamps. Kia Motors Australia will launch the new Rondo in 2013 with the list of features and engine specifications to be confirmed. Photos by Rudi Khoury
The US designed Track’ster wowed viewers in Sydney as something new and different from Kia. The performance-oriented three-door Soul coupe concept, a hint at where next generation Soul is heading, is striking in design from the front, side and rear. Incorporating billet aluminium for the fog lamps and door handles as well as the lower valance trimmed in carbon fibre with Inferno Orange which rides just inches off the ground. With performance as the top priority, the Track’ster rolled into Sydney with a concept drivetrain sure to kick start any driving enthusiast’s heart. The design team dreamed big, but also kept their vision firmly rooted in reality. A 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-4 engine pumps 186kW to the pavement, a 66 per cent increase over that of the production Soul. Power is routed to all four wheels via an electronically controlled four-wheel-drive system. The short-throw six-speed manual transmission is capped with a stubby spherical shift lever. The Track’ster rides on a lowered sport suspension tuned for track performance. While Kia say officially that there are no firm plans to produce the Track’ster, Kia’s head of design Peter Schreyer, speaking at the recent Paris Motor Show, said he harbored strong hopes that the striking concept model could have a production future. Photos by Rudi Khoury
Kia has been holding back on what they are bringing to this year’s Australian International Motor Show. Now though, they have released the embargo and we can share with you what you can expect to see at the show as well as hear all about in the next few issues of ADM Drivers Torque. The brand will be showing off a new concept in the form of the Track’ster. This is Kia’s new idea of the Soul as a performance-oriented three-door coupe. This may just give the indication of where the company is going with design. The US-designed concept has a lower intake grille and is clanked by immense LED driving lights with billet aluminium surrounds. With its wide open lower month the Track’ster will sure get its mouth full of air. Being low to the ground, the concept is trimmed with carbon fibre and has a wide look body. Tucked under the rather flared guards are custom HRE-K1 monoblock billet performance wheels that took a joint effort, Kia and HRE, to design. The 245/40×19 fronts and 185/35×19 rears are fitted with one of the best tyres in the world, Michelin. As to be expected the concept is fitted with only the best options. The front brakes are 356mm Brembo and the rotor is stopped with a six-piston calliper while the rear is 340mm disc with some not too shabby four-piston callipers. If you know the Soul range, you could be mistaken for thinking this was one. While the concept is inspired by one it is missing one vital part. The rear production doors have been removed and the front doors lengthened. They also incorporate smooth billet push-style handles while a racing-inspired billet fuel door has been used. The gaps in the rear of the side valances, side skirts as we know them, are a functional design to help cool the rear brakes. The Track’ster is 1917mm in with which is a considerate amount larger than the production Soul, 127mm more. Now you have all been wondering what Kia would put under the hood of such concept. Well they have not disappointed in this idea. The 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-4 engine will push out 186kW and is a rather impressive 66 per cent increase in power over the production Soul. Not only is there some good kW coming from this engine, it will be put the ground in an electronically controlled four wheel drive system. Chuck in a six-speed box and some lowered sport suspension that is tuned for the track and you have a decent package. Get inside and you can see the outside Inferno Orange follows you on the suede-covered racing seats. Granite Gray leather envelopes the landscape of the interior and gives off a sport yet classy feel. The sport steering wheel and door panels are also wrapped in the Granite Grey leather. The instrument panel glows in an angry red giving a sporty aggressive look and is readable with all of your normal information. The centre display includes the battery voltage and oil temperature and a large touch screen is located about the engine start/stop push-button. Behind the front seats is where Track’ster takes a significant step away from its Soul stablemate. The rear seats have been removed and replaced with a fully integrated equipment tray and spare-tyre well. Large panelled bins stow racing gear such as helmets, suits, gloves and tools while emergency supplies are housed within a separate and highly visible Inferno Orange container. A custom rear strut brace incorporates a quick-release handle to allow for fast wheel changes. While there are no firm plans to produce the Track’ster, Kia’s head of designer Peter Schreyer, speaking at the recent Paris Motor Show, said he harboured strong hopes that the striking concept model could have a production future. We will get more information on this concept in the coming days and see what Kia Australia have to say about this rather cool concept.