Kia Rio, Picanto get ‘Product Design’ awards in red dot design contest

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 14, 2012

Kia's B-segment Rio and A-segment Picanto have been named winners in the internationally-acclaimed 'Product Design' category for the 2012 red dot design competition. There were at least 4,500 products entered in the competition by 1,800 manufacturers from 58 countries.  The latest honors bring the red dot awards that Kia has achieved to a total of six.

Among the automaker's previous wins were the Sportage and Optima both in 2011, Venga in 2010, and Soul in 2009. The Optima also took the 'best of the best' recognition in 2011. This is the competition's highest accolade for innovative design, wherein only the best products in each category are qualified as candidates.

Kia Chief Officer Peter Schreyer expressed pride in the red dot awards that the Picanto and the Rio have achieved. He commented that they are a "great tribute" to their entire global design team since all the three Kia design centers were part of the development of both automobiles. 

He also said that he is "particularly happy" about the "thoroughly creative and successful" teamwork among the groups in Europe, America and Korea. The red dot product design awards are among the major design competitions in the world. They have been held by the Design Centre of North Rhine-Westphalia since 1955. This year's awards will be presented to the winners on July 2, 2012 at the Alvar Aalto-designed opera house in Essen, Germany.

All eyes were on Kia Motors America (KMA) with the simultaneous global unveiling of the new 2012 Rio sub-compact sedan and the thoroughly improved Kia Soul at the 2011 New York International Auto Show.

The very popular Kia Soul, the compact crossover which signaled the start of KMA’s design transformation, is back in New York, sporting a fresher and smarter look! Aside from its iconic funky character which made it popular globally, the new Kia Soul now boasts of more engine power and substantial technological refinements, particularly in its powertrain, so as to achieve the holy grail of engine design efficiency- more power, less fuel.

Kia’s Michael Sprague says that car buyers searching for something out of the ordinary will love the significantly improved 2012 Kia Soul. It has received numerous improvements in the span of only two years, particularly in its engine power, character and fuel economy.

 Sprague continues that the Soul’s unique character makes it immediately noticeable, and that is what attracts its new followers, in the process helping Kia catapult itself to record-breaking sales and related noteworthy achievements. Aside from undergoing a design reconfiguration to achieve a more impressive look and a more efficient driving performance, its remarkable fuel economy of 10% reduction in fuel consumption is timely, what with the constantly rising gas prices.

More Power, Less Fuel

The efficient engine of the 2012 Kia Soul substantially contributes to its enjoyable driving factor. With additional horsepower, a new six-speed transmission and the impressive ability to deliver 34 miles per gallon on the highway, the Kia Soul’s powerful 1.6 litre GDI engine churns out 135HP (100kW) of power, 11 per cent more power output than its previous engine.

And for buyers who would like extra muscles on its engine, a new 2.0-litre four cylinder option is available in two variants- a six speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission. These advanced features and awesome options make the 2012 Kia Soul a truly appealing rarity in its segment.

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