Kia Motors Corporation unveiled three exciting vehicles at the 77th Salon de l'Automobiles, which opens yesterday in Geneva, Switzerland. One of Europe's most prestigious motor shows, Geneva is a fitting venue for the world premiere of the all-new Kia ex_ceed cabrio concept, the launch of the production-ready stylish Kia cee'd Sporty Wagon and the first appearance in Europe of the innovative Kia Rio Hybrid.
Kia ex_cee'd Cabrio Concept
The styling of the ex_cee'd cabrio is the work of new Kia design chief, Peter Schreyer, and gives a clear indication that Kia could produce a stunning looking cabrio under his guidance. Based on the new three-door cee'd Sporty Hatch (scheduled for production in Slovakia from December), the ex_cee'd has the same 2650 mm wheelbase, but features several new exterior panels, plus a powered folding fabric roof.
By adopting a fabric roof for the ex_cee'd, Kia deliberately goes its own retro-way rather than following the trend towards cabrios with folding metal roofs. Peter Schreyer and his team paid special attention to designing a classic cabrio with a traditional soft-top roof.
"I'm convinced that the fabric roof will have a renaissance and for me, it is the fabric roof that is the quintessential element of a truly rewarding cabrio," commented Schreyer.
With its 19-inch alloy wheels, 'meringue white' exterior paint and 'bitter chocolate' fabric roof, the ex_cee'd has instantly found a form that stands out from the cabrio crowd.
Kia cee'd Sporty Wagon
The Kia cee'd Sporty Wagon has an unusually long wheelbase, offers class-leading passenger and luggage space, and boasts a unique extended tailgate for maximum accessibility to the luggage area. To boost load carrying ability and versatility, the wagon's overall length is increased by 235 mm, with all of that increase behind the rear wheels, and overall height is up by 10 mm. Luggage capacity goes up to a total of 534 litres - loaded to the bottom of the rear windows, almost 200 litres more than the cee'd hatchback.
"The new Kia cee'd Sporty Wagon retains all the attributes of the cee'd hatchback and offers consumers extra practicality and versatility, while keeping stylish good looks with a truly sports feel," enthused Mr Jean-Charles Lievens, Senior Vice President Kia Motors Europe. "With ride, handling and performance every bit as responsive as the hatchback, the Sporty Wagon is sure to delight existing Kia customers and to attract European consumers who have not yet considered our brand."
When it goes on sale across Europe in September, the cee'd Sporty Wagon will boast highly competitive levels of equipment and state-of-the-art active and passive safety. Customers will be able to choose from three equipment levels, five Euro 4-compliant engines with manual or automatic transmissions, and an extensive range of optional equipment.
Like other cee'd family models, the cee'd Sporty Wagon is a genuine high-quality product and will be covered in European markets by the remarkable Kia cee'd 7-Year / 150,000 kilometre warranty which is transferable to subsequent owners.
The cee'd family and Kia's brand image is sure to receive a strong boost from the company's collaboration with one of the world's premiere football organizations, UEFA. In particular, as a UEFA EUROTOP partner, Kia will become an 'official car' supplier and a major sponsor of the EURO 2008 championships. Kia will provide UEFA with a fleet of vehicles, including cee'd models.
Kia Rio Hybrid
To mark the massive expansion of Korea's hybrid vehicle development programme, Kia Motors is displaying a very special version of the Kia Rio at Geneva. The European premiere of the Kia Rio hybrid celebrates the recent announcement that Kia Motors, together with Hyundai, is to supply the Korean Ministry of the Environment with an additional 3,390 hybrid vehicles over the next two years, as part of the country's on-going programme of 'real-world' testing aimed at creating eco-friendly cars.
The Kia Rio Hybrid sedan (also known as the Kia Pride in some markets), created by Kia R&D to take part in these 'real-world' test fleet activities, features a unique powertrain with a 1.4-litre, 90 ps gasoline engine, mated to a high-torque 12kW, 95 Nm AC synchronised electric motor and a CVT gearbox.
The electric motor is mounted between the flywheel and the gearbox and 'assists' the gasoline engine during starting, accelerating and hill-climbing. During steady cruising the electric motor switches off, while during deceleration it employs 'regenerative braking' to store energy and re-charge its power pack.
The hybrid Rio is the first Kia to employ a CVT (continuously variable transmission) and also features computer-controlled stop/start motoring which switches both engine and motor off whenever the car comes to a standstill for more than a few seconds.
Special lightweight components parts cut the Rio Hybrid's weight by 220 kg. It accelerates briskly from 0-to-100 kph in 12.2 seconds, can reach a top speed of 180 kph and returns a fuel consumption of 5.29 litres per 100 km (53.4 mpg). Air pollutants are reduced by 37% and fuel efficiency is improved by 44%.
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