KIA NIRO IS A HERO FOR THE CITY
- Urban lifestyle concept unveiled at 2013 IAA
- Possible new-style B-segment contender
- 1.6-litre T-GDi engine with hybrid electric drive
Playful but gutsy, sturdy yet impish – Kia’s dramatic new Niro urban-lifestyle concept, unveiled at the IAA in Frankfurt on 10 September, hints at a possible future B-segment contender ready to take on the city environment with style and tenacity.
Ready for any challenge that the assured modern motorist may throw at it, the Niro combines a mischievous character in a clearly robust and substantial yet stylish bodyshape featuring a mix of contrasting materials in compact, purposeful dimensions.
Born out of Kia’s determination to seek new compact-car options for the individualistic and demanding driver for whom size is an issue, the concept features intriguing elements not always associated with smaller cars and has been created in Europe at Kia’s Frankfurt Design Studio with European tastes and expectations very much in mind.
Niro looks to bring an almost counter-4×4 image to the smaller B-segment. Niro has the solidity and style of a solid-cast titanium watch case yet displays a nimble stance that hints at a readiness for action promising protection and capability.
Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer at Kia’s Frankfurt office – who led the concept team – said: “Ten years ago people wanted understated style in the SUV market, but increasingly as more people migrate to the B-segment they are looking for strong character and individuality.
“We believe Niro is cheekier and even sleeker to show a clear spirited and intrepid character – a car that has the tenacity to deal with any challenge that comes its way,” he added.
But Niro is no purely functional mud-plugger! Instead its muscular and resolute style will meet the needs of owners who insist on being where the action is and are excited at the prospect of getting down and dirty!
“It may have the looks of a Dakar contender but Niro has a strong premium feel thanks to contrasting advanced modern materials that mix brawn with spirit to deliver a playful vehicle ready to be part of an active lifestyle,” Guillaume commented further.
Compact size on a new platform
Although Niro has been created to deliver a sturdy and muscular outline, it has relatively compact dimensions on an all-new platform that will form the basis of future B-segment products from Kia.
The design team started with an aim of creating a clearly muscular and purposeful outline and the startling two-tone exterior look is enhanced by its wheel-at-each-corner stance but in the urban battleground its 4,185cm overall length, 1,850cm width and 1,558cm height place it firmly in the city-car bracket.
The menacingly dark “Nightfall” coloured exterior is sharply and attractively offset by a brushed, stainless steel roof. Enveloping the entire cabin, this two-finish construction gives a unique and strongly technological edge to Niro’s appearance. Also adding a feel that the car is virtually bursting out of its skin are running-board type “blades” above the lower side-sills – echoed by similar creases in the front and rear lower valances.
Adding to the concept’s chunky nature a 2,590cm wheelbase and 1,630cm track ensure it is firmly planted on the road and provides plenty of internal space.
The signature “tiger-nose” grille outline, front and rear towing hooks, bonnet-located air outlet and other elements are highlighted in anodised “Limelight” aluminium.
With a low cabin glasshouse and a deliberately angled front valance the Niro has an assertive and purposeful outline.
The front valance also features an asymmetric arrangement of air vent holes that was seen on the Provo concept in Geneva. The aggressive front look is enhanced by an ice-cube light arrangement providing dip and main beam lights, strip daytime running lights around the edge of the lighting housing and also built-in quartered spot lights.
Entry is by dihedral “butterfly” doors that open into the roof panel and swing up high and with low-set flush handles. Mounted directly onto the side windows are milled “Plexiglas” door mirrors with in-built downward-facing cameras.
At the rear, as well as a rearward-facing video camera the functional tailgate has a secret in store. Part of the rear light cluster swings up as an essential element of the hatch architecture to give good light and visibility into the cargo space, leaving behind the secondary section of the cluster to ensure safety by ensuring other road users can still see the car in the dark.
The hatch opens onto a huge carbon-fibre clad cargo deck ready to swallow the equipment and gadgets the driver and passenger may need or for a suite of luggage if the destination is up-town rather than out-of-town!
The Niro’s sturdy look is completed by special 225/40R20 tyres mounted on milled aluminium 20-inch five-spoke wheels.
Visionary but pragmatic
Niro may be a designers’ eye view of a future B-segment contender, but that doesn’t mean it is a pure flight of fancy.
Guillaume commented: “Right from the start, this particular B-segment project was about looking at where Kia might take its contenders in this part of the market. This is a growing sector in Europe and Niro is just as much about our thinking for the future as Provo was.”
With that in mind, Niro comes with a variant of Kia’s turbocharged 1.6-litre ‘Gamma’ engine, developing 160ps.
In Niro the engine and seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission serve only the front wheels but an electric-hybrid system, powered from regenerative braking, delivers up to 45ps to the rear wheels – when road conditions require extra grip.
Tough style inside
Continuing Niro’s robust nature but combining that clear purpose with emphatic style, the interior has clearly not been designed with spartan outdoors activities in mind.
Guillaume said: “Going anywhere doesn’t mean going without style! And Niro delivers a very up-market interior. But as a 2+2 with the flexibility of a large cargo deck it is clearly also ready for any purpose.”
Easy access is ensured by the butterfly doors being cut into that shimmering roof and the cabin layout has solidity and volume providing a substantial feeling and is dotted with luxury touches and materials.
Niro’s interior echoes the one-piece moulded front seats seen in Provo but here, covered in a techno-look “Orbit Silver” line-quilted textile. The clam-shell seat-backs tilt to allow access to a two-seat 50-50 split bench.
These occasional-use seats means Niro’s owners can accommodate passengers both when folded flat they form the front edge of that full-length carbon fibre load area allowing plenty of space for luggage, equipment or cargo – depending on the destination!
Extensive use of “Volcano Black” leather on the front dashboard and binnacle coupled with switchgear and other elements finished in either anodised black or “Limelight” aluminium give a cosseting and quality feel to the cabin.
A perfect seating position is delivered thanks to the fully adjustable pedal box and the deep-dished aluminium and leather steering wheel.
Ahead of the driver is a super-vision digital instrument binnacle that can be formatted and switched to provide appropriate information. It features all the main instruments but additional information is displayed on a centre console-mounted screen.
This screen also allows the active owner to see and record live pictures from the video cameras mounted at the front and rear, in the door mirrors and elsewhere in the car.
The centre screen can also display altitude, vehicle attitude, compass and entertainment information, Bluetooth functions as well as mapping and satellite navigation – with directional commands relayed onto the main binnacle.
Small “winglets” on the binnacle handle main switching functions including direction indicators and camera displays.
Rising up between the transmission tunnel and the main dashboard structure are two anodised aluminium columns. On first appearance they look to be simply strengthening struts – but the merest touch on the left-hand strut reveals additional functions. The engine Start-Stop button is located here as well as the main transmission drive control.
Additional touch-sensitive panels allow control of the in-car entertainment and computer functions on the centre screen. A ring on the right hand strut handles volume controls.
A promising future
Guillaume suggests that Niro could be close to on-road reality – if the public wants it!
“As designers we have to look at what the future could hold, not just what is probable, and we believe drivers want excitement and new solutions from their vehicles,” he commented.
“It is clear that the B-segment is growing as European motorists seek to downsize but it is equally clear that they refuse to give up individuality and distinctiveness – so Niro explores one avenue to satisfy that desire.
“We would love nothing more than to see all of our concept designs on the streets of Frankfurt or London or Paris tomorrow. As Kia looks to add to its range of small cars for this future European market you have to look at where the market opportunities exist and how we can exploit them. Perhaps Niro answers that challenge” he added.
Currently Kia Motors has not made final decisions on future B-segment products and there are no plans for Niro to go into commercial production in the immediate future – but the Niro’s appearance at the IAA will be used to gauge public opinion and possible demand.
UPGRADED KIA OPTIMA JOINS EUROPEAN MODEL LINE-UP
- Exterior and interior design changes
- Improved specification and high-end features
- NVH improvements result in reduced road noise levels
- Due to arrive in the UK in early 2014
Since late 2011, Kia’s mid-size Optima saloon has been transforming the company’s market share in the European D-segment – inspiring and challenging many consumers to consider a bold and dynamically-styled Kia for the first time.
Now, responding to customer feedback and developments in the ever-competitive European marketplace, Kia is introducing an upgraded Optima with an enhanced design, new infotainment, convenience and safety features, increased refinement, improved quality and a more premium finish.
“With the upgraded Kia Optima, our global design team has penned a vehicle with even more distinctive styling that stands apart from everything else in the D-segment,” commented Benny Oeyen, Vice President Marketing and Product Planning, Kia Motors Europe.
“The original Optima was well-received when it was launched in 2011 and we are confident that the upgraded model, with its range of high-tech features usually associated with premium brand vehicles, will greatly boost our presence in this sector of the European marketplace” added Oeyen.
Created under the direction of Kia’s Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer, the upgraded Optima features new headlights, fog lamps, rear lights, bumpers and wheels. At the front, the LED daytime running lights are moved from the bumper into the headlight – consistent with other Kia models – and the fog lamps are set into a body-colour panel rather than the transverse black panel of the original design.
New four-point LED fog lamps generate a truly distinctive appearance and echo the dramatic appearance of the lamps fitted to the new Kia pro_cee’d GT.
The upgraded Optima range receives new 17-inch and 18-inch alloy wheel designs and a new sharper-edged boot lid. At the rear, the new larger rear light clusters are available with surface-emitting LEDs and the twin red reflectors are now raised and set on a horizontal plane.
For customers keen to boost the visual impact of their vehicle a ‘Sport Pack’ will be available on certain trim levels and comes with a black-mesh front grille, chrome trim around the lower air-intake, unique 18-inch, five double-spoke alloy wheels and a matt-black diffuser beneath the rear bumper.
The new Optima’s smooth contours enhance its aerodynamic efficiency and result in a drag figure of just Cd 0.29, minimising wind noise, while boosting performance and fuel economy.
The new Kia Optima will be available in a choice of up to 10 colours, including seven metallic and two pearl finishes.
Extra touches of luxury to refresh cabin
The driver-oriented interior design of the 2011 Optima is retained, with detailed changes to the instrument cluster, steering wheel, centre console, gear selector, door armrests and the seats – refreshing the cabin’s appearance and adding an extra touch of luxury.
Depending on market and specification level, the cabin will be available with either a black monotone finish or beige two-tone finish. Seat upholstery is flat-woven on entry-level models or a combination of flat-woven with part leather on mid-spec models. A full leather interior is also available on high-specification models.
The new instrument cluster features a larger TFT LCD screen (4.3-inch, up from 3.5-inch), delivering more information with improved graphics. The new steering wheel, which has a flattened lower rim on auto models, has the remote controls located on the horizontal spokes.
The new centre console houses a 7-inch information screen and is finished in black high-gloss, while the switch panels in the armrests come with satin metal or black high-gloss accents, depending on model. Interior door handles are now finished in satin metal, rather than chrome.
Front seats feature cushions with raised side bolsters and a higher leading edge, increasing lateral and under-thigh support for enhanced comfort. Ventilated front seats and heated rear seats – with both low and high temperature settings – are available.
Driver and passengers will appreciate the higher levels of refinement in the upgraded Optima – one of the key areas for improvement targeted by Kia engineers. Measures adopted to reduce road noise in the new model include fitting a dynamic damper to the rear suspension cross member, changing the rear wheelarch covers to a BCF (bulked continuous filament) material for improved sound-proofing and fitting stronger alloy wheels. Combined, these measures have reduced road noise by 3.3 decibels.
Further noise reducing modifications include the use of additional sealants in the dashboard bulkhead and thicker carpets in the cabin of diesel models.
Introducing new features and technologies
The already generous standard equipment of the original 2011 model is boosted with additional premium features for the upgraded Optima.
Drivers of automatic models can use Drive-Mode-Select to choose between three driving modes: the default Normal mode; Active ECO mode, which enhances fuel economy; and Sport mode, which delivers more immediate engine response and increases the weight of the steering.
Both the audio and navigation systems for the Optima have been improved. The new audio systems now allow customers to connect an iPod to the car via Apple’s regular USB cable whilst the new navigation system features a 7-inch screen.
Kia’s Blind Spot Detection system will be fitted to certain versions. As well as alerting the driver to cars approaching closely – by triggering a warning light in the door mirror – the BSD system incorporates Lane Change Assist (LCA) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).
LCA monitors following traffic and alerts the driver if changing lane might be hazardous. Designed to improve safety in car parks, RCTA is activated when reverse gear is selected and monitors the zone at 90 degrees to the car, on both sides, sounding a warning if approaching vehicles are detected. Both front and rear parking sensors are available.
Best-in-class performance and low emissions
The upgraded Optima is available to European consumers with a choice of two engines carried over from the previous model – a 2.0-litre 165 ps petrol engine and a 1.7-litre 136 ps diesel. The latter is expected to account for the majority of sales in Europe and will be the sole engine option when the vehicle goes on sale in the UK.
Fitted with a Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT) the 1.7-litre version of Kia’s popular ‘U2’ diesel engine produces 136 ps and 325 Nm of torque (from 2,000 rpm) for excellent driveability, and delivers best-in-class performance for an engine of its displacement (80 ps per litre).
A number of measures designed to enhance engine efficiency have been adopted for Optima, including an overrunning alternator decoupler and an innovative battery management system. The result is competitive CO2 emissions for its class – from 133 g/km for the standard model, and as low as 128 g/km when fitted with Kia’s optional fuel-saving stop/start ISG system. The Optima is among the lower vehicle tax bands in many European countries.
The 2.0-litre petrol powerplant is a ‘Nu’ lightweight engine which generates 165 ps and 196 Nm of torque at 4,800 rpm, while fuel economy is competitive, from 7.0 l / 100 km. To increase the unit’s fuel efficiency, Kia’s engineers specified a two-stage variable induction system, an electronic throttle body, an off-set crankshaft and Continuously Variable Valve Lift (CVVL).
In Europe both engines are offered with a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions, providing greater refinement and efficiency while cruising at higher speeds.
Generous standard specification continues
True to the company’s philosophy of producing cars that present excellent value for money, the upgraded Optima carries over the generous levels of standard specification found on the 2011 model, while also offering buyers a number of premium features. Final specification choices will be decided by individual markets nearer local launch dates.
Depending on model, available features include: PPAS (Parallel Parking Assist System), smart key and start button with automatic folding mirrors; retractable panoramic sunroof; heated rear seats; heated steering wheel; BAS (Brake Assist System); ESC (Electronic Stability Control); HAC (Hill-start Assist Control); and VSM (Vehicle Stability Management).
As with all Kia models sold in Europe, the upgraded Optima provides customers with the manufacturer’s unique seven year / 100,000 mile warranty which is fully transferrable to subsequent owners.
Global demand for the Optima is supplied from Kia’s Hwa-Sung factory in Korea, while cars for the Chinese market are manufactured in China.
KIA REVEALS ALL-NEW SOUL FOR 2014
- Smooth new look inspired by 2012 Kia Track’ster concept
- All-new platform, stiffer bodyshell and upgraded suspension
- Improved driving dynamics and ride comfort
- Significantly quieter cabin, with higher quality materials throughout
- Increased interior space and range of premium features
- Extensive range of customisation options available in 2014
The all-new 2014 Kia Soul urban crossover, making its European debut at the 65th Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) in Frankfurt, will go on sale in Europe next year. The smooth new-look exterior is inspired by the 2012 Kia Track’ster concept and introduces a thoroughly fresh, more grown-up appearance without losing its individualistic edge.
Although the new Soul is ‘all-new’ – none of the exterior body panels are carried over, and the interior is a new design – the 2014 Soul’s upright stance, squared shoulders, wraparound greenhouse, high-mounted tail lights and confidence-inspiring ride height are all hallmark design elements which will ensure the new model is instantly recognisable as a Soul.
“The Soul has attracted a loyal following among Kia buyers, so it was important that the all-new model remained true to the original iconic design. Beyond design, our main focus was infusing it with improved driving dynamics, developing a higher-quality cabin and adding desirable features that improve the Soul’s appeal, value and sophistication,” commented Benny Oeyen, Vice President Marketing and Product Planning, Kia Motors Europe.
“Keeping what made the current Soul special while addressing areas for improvement presented Kia’s American design studio in California and engineers in Korea with a tough challenge. Many of the Track’ster’s dramatic design elements – first seen in 2012 – can now be found in the new Soul. Kia has maintained the iconic design while adding modern styling cues to make the 2014 Soul even more desirable,” added Oeyen.
Exterior similarities between the new Soul and Track’ster concept are clear. The large trapezoidal lower front air intake is carried over from the concept, and the fog lights – located low down and pushed to the outer edges – mirror those found on the concept. Kia’s signature grille is present, though reworked to more closely resemble the concept and bring it in line with other models in the product line-up.
Chassis and powertrain
The biggest technical change for the new 2014 Soul is the adoption of an all-new platform, based on that of the latest Kia cee’d.
The re-engineered bodyshell is now made of 66 per cent ultra-high strength or high strength steel, with stronger connections along the cowl, upper and lower B-pillars and between the C-pillars. The result is a 29 per cent increase in torsional rigidity compared to the outgoing model. Thanks to the use of ultra-high strength steel, the A-pillars are 20 mm narrower, improving forward visibility.
The MacPherson strut front suspension is now mounted on a subframe with four bushings (none are used on the first-generation Soul) to better isolate the cabin from vibrations and minimise ride harshness. The steering box has been moved forward, improving steering response and reducing impacts felt through the wheel. At the rear, the shock absorbers are longer and are mounted vertically, delivering greater suspension travel and smoother operation to improve ride comfort.
The stronger bodyshell, together with suspension upgrades, has enabled Kia engineers to create a car with significantly improved driving dynamics, ride quality and greater refinement.
Buyers will be able to choose between the latest versions of Kia’s 1.6-litre GDi gasoline and CRDi diesel engines, as well as six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmissions.
The 2014 Kia Soul has subtly larger dimensions. The overall length is increased by 20 mm (to 4,140 mm) and the wheelbase has been extended by 20 mm (to 2,570 mm). The new model is also 15 mm wider (to 1,800 mm), though the Soul’s height remains unchanged (at 1,610 mm). The new dimensions also allowed improvements to the vehicle’s practicality. The tailgate opening is now 60 mm wider, providing easier access to a larger cargo area, which has had its capacity increased by 4 per cent to 354 litres (plus additional underfloor storage) with the rear seats upright.
Driver and passengers in the new Soul will enjoy a significantly quieter cabin, with higher quality materials throughout, and greater sound proofing compared to the outgoing Soul – interior noise levels are reduced by approximately three decibels.
The cabin is also larger, with increased front leg room (by 20 mm), headroom (by 5 mm) and shoulder room (up 7.5 mm). Rear legroom is also increased (by 5 mm). Allowing even easier entry and egress, the new Soul’s step-in height has been reduced (by 5 mm), while seat hip points are lower (by 12 mm), front and rear.
New Soul will be available, depending on final market specifications, with a choice between single- and two-tone interiors, with black, brown and grey leather and fabrics available. Blue, red and orange high-gloss interior highlights are also available with a new range of interior packages.
Specification and premium features
Promising a more rewarding ownership experience, the 2014 Soul will be available in Europe with a range of new premium features (depending on model), including: front LED lights and rear LED ‘halo’ lights; xenon headlights; keyless entry and push-button engine start; automatic climate control air-conditioning; cruise control; leather seat trim; ventilated front seats; heated front and rear seats; panoramic glass sunroof; and heated exterior mirrors. An optional Infinity sound system – tuned specifically for the new Soul – will also be available.
The new Kia Soul will be equipped, subject to final individual market specifications, with a number of safety and convenience features to further give the new vehicle a ‘big car’ feel. These features include: High Beam Assist – a first for Kia in Europe – Parallel Parking Assist System and a Lane Departure Warning System.
The new Soul will also carry over the outgoing model’s reputation for customization. When the car goes on sale in 2014, buyers will be able to choose between up to 11 exterior paint finishes, as well as three different roof colours – black, white and red. Eight different alloy wheel designs – ranging from 16-inch to 18-inch in size – will be available, including four new designs with coloured inserts to contrast – or match – the body colour.
The two Kia Souls displayed on the Kia stand at IAA Frankfurt are fitted with a new SUV Styling Pack, featuring piano black bumper garnish, side skirts, wheel arches and black painted roof. The new range of Soul accessory kits, available later in 2014, are designed to enable owners to fully enjoy and exploit the versatility of this unique compact SUV.
The all-new 2014 Kia Soul will go on sale across Europe next year when the full model line-up, choice of gasoline and diesel powertrains, performance, economy, equipment specifications and prices will be confirmed.
KIA INNOVATES WITH NEW BI-FUEL PICANTO LPG
- Three cylinder 1.0-litre Kappa engine generates 67 ps and 90 Nm
- Fuel consumption as low as 5.6 l/100 km
- Even lower running costs than petrol-only Picanto models
- Available as 3-door and 5-door and with two equipment levels
- Destined to go on sale in certain mainland Europe markets from late 2013
Responding to growing customer demand in Europe for small cars with low running costs and low emissions, Kia is introducing a bi-fuel model to its Picanto small car range. Making its debut at the 65thInternationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) in Frankfurt, the new Picanto LPG promises even lower running costs than conventional petrol-only Picanto models when it goes on sale in certain mainland European markets towards the end of 2013.
The new variant will record fuel economy in LPG mode of 5.8l / 100km and CO2 emissions of 100g/km – with automatic stop-start (ISG) equipped models achieving 5.6l / 100km and 97g/km.
The new Picanto model will be available with a choice of two equipment levels and five-door or three-door bodystyles – just like other models in the Picanto line-up.
“Kia is always looking for ways to fulfil every customer’s needs,” commented Benny Oeyen, Vice President Marketing and Product Planning, Kia Motors Europe. “The Picanto LPG is designed to satisfy a clear demand for such a bi-fuel engine, demonstrating Kia’s determination to offer consumers across Europe the widest choice of products.
“The Picanto is one of the most competitive vehicles in the ‘city car’ A-segment, delivering premium features at affordable prices and we anticipate that the new bi-fuel model will prove particularly popular in those European countries where LPG is readily available,” added Oeyen.
Initially, the bi-fuel model will be available in Germany, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, Greece, Portugal and the Netherlands – where it expected to account for up to 7% of Picanto sales. When it goes on sale later this year, the left-hand drive Picanto LPG will be the first, and only, LPG-powered car in the marketplace with a seven year warranty.
Switching fuels at the touch of a button
Picanto LPG is powered by a special version of Kia’s three-cylinder 1.0-litre Kappa engine which produces 67ps and 90Nm of torque. To process LPG the engine is fitted with an additional fuel system featuring a solenoid valve, vaporiser (which turns the liquid LPG into a gas by reducing its pressure by 0.7 Bar), a gas filter and an injector module.
Made in Korea, the highly efficient Kappa family of engines share many common characteristics, including dual CVVT (continuously variable valve timing), a cast aluminium block, off-set crankshaft, maintenance-free long-life timing chain and low-friction ‘beehive’ valve springs.
The new Picanto LPG is fitted with two fuel tanks – the regular 35-litre petrol tank in the regular position ahead of the rear axle and a 27-litre pressurised LPG tank located beneath the trunk floor in the space previously occupied by the spare wheel. Boot capacity is 152 litres (with rear seats upright) and a tyre-mobility kit is provided in case of a puncture.
Drivers can switch from petrol to LPG (and vice-versa) by simply pressing a button on the dashboard. Apart from the addition of the fuel selector button, the only other change inside the Picanto LPG is the fitting of a new instrument cluster with two fuel gauges (gasoline and LPG) and two ‘low-fuel’ warning lamps.
The LPG tank and the system’s equipment adds 51 kg to the Picanto’s weight, so in order to maintain brisk acceleration (0-62mph in 14.5 seconds) the final drive ratio is lowered by 8.6 per cent (from 4.235:1 to 4.600:1). The Picanto’s top speed – 95mph – is unchanged from the standard 1.0-litre petrol model.
Retaining all the key Picanto assets
While its powertrain has been modified, the new Picanto LPG retains all the key assets which have made the smallest Kia so popular throughout Europe, recording annual sales in excess of 50,000 units.
When the new Picanto was launched in spring 2011, the character of the car was transformed from ‘cute and friendly’ into mature and handsome, with a design to turn heads, thanks to its dynamic design language – boasting a bold self-confidence and maturity which remains unique in the A-segment.
While becoming more stylish, the 3.6-metre long Picanto remains an extremely practical car. On the outside, overall vehicle length increased by 60mm, and the wheelbase grew by 15mm. Although the latest Picanto is a larger car with more equipment, clever engineering and greater use of high-strength steel in the bodyshell resulted in it weighing up to 10kg less than its predecessor – depending on model.
Attention to small details of the exterior design improved the new Picanto’s aerodynamics, reducing its drag figure to just Cd 0.31 – better than the majority of A-segment cars.
‘Big car’ comfort and convenience features
The Picanto’s new found maturity is also reflected in the interior design, which sets a new benchmark in its class for material quality and trim choices, while offering buyers numerous ‘big car’ comfort and convenience features – many of them fitted for the first time on a car in this segment.
Available features include: UV-reducing windscreen glass, automatically controlled air-conditioning, electric folding door mirrors, automatic light control with ‘escort’ and ‘welcome’ modes, passenger seat storage tray, under-floor storage box, retractable and illuminated cup holders, sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors and a ‘gear shift indicator’ to encourage an economical driving style.
Other features available include smart-key entry system with engine start/stop button, AUX, iPod and USB connections for the RDS radio CD player with MP3 compatibility, Bluetooth hands-free with voice recognition, ‘active’ head restraints, driver’s knee airbag, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, reversing sensors and HAC (Hill-start Assist Control).
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