Tag Archive | "Kia"

The Kia 'CUB' Concept

The Kia ‘CUB’ Concept

Kia premiered the ‘CUB’ concept at the 9th Seoul International Motor Show in Korea last week.

Designed at the Kia headquarters studio in Seoul, under the direction of President and Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, the CUB is less than four metres long, has rearward-opening rear doors and an ‘access-all-areas’ interior concept without traditional B-pillars, providing excellent access to the luxuriously trimmed cabin.

“The new Kia CUB is a compact, four-door coupe created with a clear focus on driving performance and practicality,” comments Thomas Oh, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Kia Motors Corporation.  “Styled to appeal to trend-setting urban dwellers, the CUB features a comfortable four-seater cabin which generates an emotional, feel-good response and delivers everyday, real-world benefits.”

The exterior styling of the CUB highlights that it is both sleek and small, with a cheerful face and a daring character.  Design features created by Peter Schreyer for the 2007 Kia Kee 2+2 concept are revisited in a new form.  The CUB’s nose has a broad wrap-around ‘mouth’ and there is a ‘dip’ in the top of the windshield – a motif that is featured on Optima, Sportage and cee’d models.  The latest interpretation of grille is a shallower design incorporating the turbocharger’s air intake, highlighted in body colour.

The headlamps feature two-point LED lights – similar to those which first appeared on the Kia Quoris large flagship sedan last year.  Large 19-inch alloy wheels fill the wheel arches and the front doors have aerodynamic ‘turning-vanes’ at sill level to streamline and add definition the CUB’s flanks.

At the rear, LED tail lights complete the premium feel of the exterior and the nose treatment derived from Kia’s Kee concept car is replicated at the tail to accentuate the width of the vehicle.

The cabin creates the sensation of a luxurious coupe and is trimmed in black leather with yellow colour accents around the seats, door armrests and steering wheel.

The instrument cluster design is inspired by the eyes of a wild animal. The centre-stack design is minimalist with an air vent controlled by touch sensor. For extra safety, the steering wheel rim is capable of monitoring the driver’s biorhythms.

As well as a steering-wheel, there is a DIS (Driving Information System) controller connected to a gesture camera which provides easier operation while driving. With well-defined motions, drivers can set up each menu on the centre display. Hinting at the high-performance nature of the CUB, there is a footrest provided in the front passenger footwell.

The CUB powertrain features a new version of the company’s 1.6 litre GDi (Gasoline Direct injection) engine – recently confirmed as the powerunit for the new Kia pro_cee’d GT and cee’d GT sold in Europe. The 1.6 litre GDI engine churns out 150kW and 265Nm of torque.

At present there are no plans to put the Kia CUB concept into volume production.

Source: Kia

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Kia pro_cee’d GT and cee’d GT to debut at 2013 Geneva Motor Show

Kia pro_cee’d GT and cee’d GT to debut at 2013 Geneva Motor Show

The new Kia pro_cee’d GT and cee’d GT – the brand’s most performance-focused production cars ever – will enjoy their world premieres at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show on 5 March.

Designed in Europe under the direction of President and Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, the Kia pro_cee’d GT and cee’d GT feature bold athletic styling, distinctive LED daytime running lights, dual-exhaust pipes, Recaro seating, 18-inch alloy wheels and eye-catching red brake calipers.

The new turbocharged 1.6-litre GDI petrol engine will produce 150kW and 265 Nm, powering the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission and allowing the Kia pro_cee’d GT and cee’d GT to accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 7.9 seconds.

Production of the newest members of the latest generation cee’d family is scheduled to start at Kia’s Žilina plant in Slovakia in mid-May.

Is there any chance that we may see the pro_cee’d and cee’d GT introduced within the South African market? We are not sure. Well perhaps we will have to contend with the arrival of the Hyundai Veloster Turbo sometime this quarter. This should hopefully herald the arrival of more performance based vehicles from the Hyundai/Kia Group in South Africa.

Source: Kia

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Hyundai, Kia Admit to Overstating Fuel Consumption Figures

Hyundai, Kia Admit to Overstating Fuel Consumption Figures

Late last week Hyundai, Kia admitted to overstating fuel consumption figures on some of their models from the 2011 to 2013 model years in the United States (US).

The models affected being the Hyundai Accent, Azera, Elantra, Genesis, Santa Fe, Sonata Hybrid, Tucson and Veloster. Kia Vehicles affected being the Kia Optima Hybrid, Rio, Sorento, Soul and Sportage.

Hyundai, Kia was ordered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to amend the window stickers on these models as a result of complaints received from a number of customers claiming that they were struggling to achieve fuel consumption figures anywhere near to those stated by the manufacturers.

Hyundai, Kia claim that these mistakes were not intentional but as a result of an administrative error. Both companies will compensate customers for the mistake.

Source: Inside Line and Green Car Reports

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Batman Inspired Kia Optima

Batman Inspired Kia Optima

Kia Motors America (KMA) has teamed up with DC Entertainment and RIDES magazine to create a Batman-inspired Kia Optima.

The Batman inspired Kia Optima goes on display this week at the Time Warner Center and signals the beginning of a 10-month partnership based on the iconic characters that make up the Justice League.

The Kia Optima, influenced by the artistry of comic book icon, Jim Lee, will be used to raise awareness of DC Entertainment’s ?We Can Be Heroes? giving campaign, a relief effort to fight hunger in the Horn of Africa (www.WeCanBeHeroes.org).

The Kia Optima SX Limited, wraps cutting-edge technology and premium amenities in a sleek, aggressive design customized with several unique Batman elements.

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Kia Motors Enters Ranks of The 'Top 100 Best Global Brands’

Kia Motors Enters Ranks of The ‘Top 100 Best Global Brands’

Kia Motors Corporation today entered the exclusive list of the ‘Top 100 Best Global Brands,’ according to the 2012 study released Interbrand, the world’s largest brand consultancy agency.

Interbrand sights Kia’s advances in product quality, design and innovative marketing as key factors for Kia’s dramatic brand value increase. Interbrand also points out that Kia has built a particularly strong connection with Millennials and Gen Y audiences.

Kia has an estimated brand value of $4.1 billion USD, which sees it placed at 87th place on the ‘Top 100 Best Global Brands’ list.

This is marks a 50% increase from last year’s estimated brand value and far exceeds the average automotive brand value growth rate of 11%.

According to Kia, the strong increase in Kia’s brand value closely mirrors the company’s recent surge in global sales, which have posted three consecutive double-digit year-or-year gains to cement Kia’s position as the world’s fastest growing major automotive brand. Over this three year period (2008-2011), Kia’s annual global sales have grown by 81% to nearly 2.5 million units.

Other car companies which made it into the ‘Top 100 Best Global Brands’ are listed below in order of ranking.

Brand Ranking
Toyota 10
Mercedes-Benz 11
BMW 12
Honda 21
Ford 45
Hyundai 53
Audi 55
Nissan 73
Kia 87
Harley Davidson 96
Ferrari 99


Source: Interbrand

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The Kia Optima - The Korean Assault Continues

The Kia Optima – The Korean Assault Continues

Yes, this isn’t news off the press. The mid-size Kia Optima sedan was officially launched in South Africa earlier this year in April after a two year long wait having been launched globally in 2010. But who’s complaining at least its here.

Under the direction of Kia’s Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer, the Kia design teams have created the third-generation Optima, boasting highly competitive performance as well as an all-inclusive luxurious package. The Optima is an intelligent combination of Korean, European and American design qualities, a visual display of Kia’s new design confidence. It will stand out on the road, in the car park and in traffic,” concludes Schreyer.

The Kia Optima is available with the 2.4 litre Theta II petrol engine with a six-speed automatic transmission.  The automatic transmission offers two operating modes, fully automatic and ‘Sport’, which allows for clutch-less manual sequential gear changes for greater driver involvement, by either using the centre console selector lever or the new steering wheel-mounted ‘shift paddles’.

The 2.4 Theta II MPI generates maximum power output of 132 kW at 6,000 rpm, with 231 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. The claimed fuel consumption is 8.7l with CO2 emmission figures of 207g/km. The claimed 0 to 100 km/h acceleration of the Kia Optima is 9.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of 210 km/h.

Some of the key interior features of the Kia Optima include; the new 8-speaker InfinityTM Sound System, keyless entry with Stop/Start button, heated and ventilated driver and passenger seats, LCD display set within the interior rear-view mirror which improves visibility in reversing manoeuvres by making use of rear-view camera, the four-spoke multifunctional steering wheel, and a fully automatic dual temperature control.

On the exterior the Kia Optima has Xenon HID headlamps with built-in Daytime Running Lights, LED rear combination lamps sporty 18-inch alloy wheels, dual exhausts with chrome tips, outside mirror turn signal indicators, fog lights and heated outside mirrors, as well as an optional, full panoramic sunroof, to name a few.  The Xenon High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps also come with headlamp washers, plus a new static bending lamp which provides additional illumination of the ‘nearside’ road and the verge during cornering.

Luggage space is a generous 505 litters (VDA) thanks to the more compact design of the rear suspension with less intrusion into the trunk.

The new Optima presents buyers with a range of state-of-the-art active and passive safety systems and equipment as standard. Available active safety technologies to help Optima drivers avoid potential accident situations include ESC (Electronic Stability Control), TCS (Traction Control System), BAS (Brake Assist) and HAC (Hill-start Assist Control).

The Optima comes standard with six airbags – dual front airbags, dual front side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags offer head protection for all occupants.  Active head restraints for the front seats protect occupants against whiplash injuries in the event of an accident or sudden braking, while the Isofix child seat anchors protect small children in the event of a collision.

The design of the front hood has also been designed for improved head impact absorption to  cater for pedestrian safety.

The recommended retail price of the Kia Optima in South Africa is R305 995 inclusive of VAT.

A detailed review of the Kia Optima can be found at Car Magazine.

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2006 Kia Picanto Review - Beating The Odds

2006 Kia Picanto Review – Beating The Odds

Long have I loathed the thought of driving a Kia Picanto. From a far I’ve always thought they seemed too tiny and underpowered with their supposedly frugal engines but then again this might have to do with my build and nothing about the car itself. Well this past weekend I managed to get the opportunity to drive the Kia Picanto on a rather wet and grey looking day.

But before I carry on its important to note the rather astonishing achievements that Kia – Hyundai have made over the last couple of years, having gone through a mini revolution they have emerged triumphant and the true testament of this is the onslaught of cars from both these manufacturers that has taken the world by storm. Gone are the days of those rather plastic and cheap looking cars which people time and again squirmed at. The styling and quality of these cars has improved with time and as such the Kia Picanto presents a rather appealing value proposition.

So, now comes in the 2006 Kia Picanto . It’s a tiny little 5 door hatch powered by a rather frugal 47kW and 99Nm engine mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox. . Our test unit is blue in colour and has been put through its paces over the years. A number of scratches and dents are evident, but something tells me it’s not the owners fault. I’ll casually ignore what appears to be a key scratch on the left side of the car.

There is nothing special about the exterior of the Kia Picanto, however it’s definitely prettier than the Tata Indica which we tested some time back especially since it comes with colour coded bumpers. The blue however makes this little thing look remarkable.

In terms of interior space it is more or less the same with the Tata we tested a while back and similarly also has a 60:40 split rear seat (Kia Picanto has 157 litres of boot space as opposed to the Tata Indica which has 220 litres). This car’s boot was full of lots and lots of clothes and spare changes of ladies shoes. In no way am I suggesting it’s a ladies’ car but that’s who we got it from. The seats are comfortable, fully manual of course, no electric motors to carry me back and forth. The quality of the interior is remarkable as well, not quite Volkswagen Polo but getting there. The dashboard did not feel cheap at all.

The problem with the Kia Picanto is that it has a tiny engine. When engineers design gearboxes they usually have to consider the torque and power outputs of the engine and adjust the gearbox accordingly. With the kia Picanto because there is so little of both power and torque you almost always have to be on first gear on most inclines, this may require an adjustment in driving style especially if you are more attuned to driving larger engined vehicles. In the Kia Picanto it has to be an almost instantaneous shift otherwise the engine lets out a horrible wail as you run out of revs and redline.

Then comes the handling, franky I’m quite foreign to this but I will tell you this. If you drive any car at about 50kph on a very twisty road you generate point something of a g (unit of measurement of acceleration, in this case lateral acceleration). This feels great. If you drive something with lots of grip say a Ford Focus ST on a windy road you generate a lot more g and can travel at higher speeds before you loose grip and the car chews out its own tyres. In the Kia, am not so sure if you can try employing such tactics to get the smile factor while driving. It rides on very small tyres so there isn’t much grip on offer and the tyres start screeching a bit too early.

When it comes to the weighting of the steering wheel it feels perfect, it’s not heavy and it’s not too light either. The car has a turning circle of 9.2 metres which is much better than the Tata’s 10.2 metres. The steering just feels right. This it makes it pleasant to drive and manoeuvre in and about town.

In general the little Kia Picanto is a good car for its level of pricing. The difference it has from the Tata we tested is that it feels more refined, and comfortable. We love the looks, and the ride quality isn’t bad for its category of car. Sadly, because it feels like a delicate little car, it simply cannot put in the amount of work the Tata did. One treats the Kia Picanto with a bit more restraint compared to the Tata Indica when it comes to the ease at which one hurls heavy machinery into the car (see our previous article on the 2005 Tata Indica).

If you are the sort of person who carries about bits of machinery in your car, please spare the Kia and get the Tata instead. However, if you are just starting out and would love a nippy little car to go about in, meet friends, drive of into the distance and the setting sun, and such things as romance novels are made of…then go for it!

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Pictures of New Kia Cerato Released

Pictures of New Kia Cerato Released

This past weekend Kia released pictures of the new Kia Cerato which it claims is longer, lower, and wider to add more cabin space. The Kia Cerato is Kia’s current biggest selling model globally and will be introduced in 2013.

The Kia Cerato will feature a sleeker profile, LED front and rear lamps and a chrome-finished beltline.  The Kia Cerato will also boast improved quality, upgraded equipment, a more spacious cabin and a revised engine line-up that delivers class-leading fuel economy.

Have a look at the pictures below.


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