To help boost its presence in minicars, Kia has revealed a three-door variant of its Picanto. The minicar segment is the third biggest segment in Europe with total sales of almost 1.4 million units last year. Paul Philpott, CEO at Kia Europe, stated that the three-door variant is important to expand the customer base of Picanto to those in search of a cheaper vehicle model and to those who want a sportier version.
The company expects that the new version will comprise a third of Picanto sales in the European region.
Furthermore, Kia intends to boost the annual sales of Picanto in Europe to around 60,000 units from 47,094 in 2010, despite the fact that the model will not offer a diesel engine along with 1.0-liter and 1.2-liter gasoline powerplants.
For those who are in search for a better fuel economy, a bi-fuel version powered by gasoline or liquefied petroleum gas will be revealed later this 2011. Philpott said that this Picanto will be the first vehicle in Europe with an LPG system fitted directly in the factory and not as an aftermarket conversion, qualifying for the seven-year warranty of Kia.
The Picanto range is the second bestseller of Kia in Europe next to the Cee'd compact family. The new Picanto, as well as the new Rio subcompact which went on sale in August, are the essential models in the company's aim to increase European sales by 70 percent from 262,627 units last year to 450,000 units by 2013.
In April, the company revealed the five-door version of the latest Picanto generation. The 3595mm-long vehicle has been fully re-engineered and redesigned, growing 60mm in length with a wheelbase of 15mm longer.
Kia welcomes its newest family member. After all these years, the all-new Kia Picanto is the most dashing and handsome model yet. The smallest segment is no longer the typical “sweet little darling” that we used to know. Still, this is not something to feel sad about. The Picanto has just turned into a sexy beast with Kia’s latest design principle.
At last, style takes over for all Kia models. No other car on the highway can belittle the Picanto with its sporty outline and set of large alloy wheels. The new facelift conveys similarities between the Sportage and Venga at the very least. What’s more, the Picanto now has the innovative daytime running lights to enhance the new look.
The dynamic and strong lines of the new Picanto set it apart from all the rest. The tough sculpture on the lower edge brings out the active “personality” of the latest model. On the other hand, the rear end also embraces Kia’s modern design philosophy seeing from the newly enhanced bumper, taillights and rear window frame.
Kia’s new sporty car features new and stunning door handles. Other competing brands don’t pay as much attention to small details. This brings the Picanto to another level. At the rear part, Kia once again demonstrates its design philosophy with Picanto’s large window frame and distinctive tail lamp design to match the rear bumper.
Nonetheless, Picanto’s ultimate selling point still goes down to practicality. The 3.6-metre car is entirely different from Picanto’s 5-door model. Sure it’s a bit tiny but anyone would love to be inside this new Picanto. In any case, the new 3-door version has wider wheelbase by 15mm and longer length by 60mm. In fact, the designers also did not compromise anything in between when they adjusted the legroom to 36mm more. Overall, the new Picanto has improved its boot capacity by twenty seven percent.
The new generation Kia Picanto will go on sale later this year. Those who are looking for a sporty 3-door hatchback model better watch out for it.