Kia un­cov­ers its Pi­canto

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Motoring -

Kia has re­vealed more tech­ni­cal and spec­i­fi­ca­tion de­tails of its new-gen­er­a­tion Pi­canto mi­cro car ahead of its of­fi­cial re­veal at the Geneva mo­tor show this month.

In Euro­pean spec, the funky city hatch will be of­fered with a trio of Euro 6 pow­er­trains, in­clud­ing an all-new 1.0-litre T-GDI tur­bocharged three-cylin­der petrol engine pro­duc­ing 74kw and 172Nm, with a 0-100kmh time of 10.1 sec­onds.

Kia has car­ried over the two other en­gines, in­clud­ing the 1.0-litre nat­u­rally as­pi­rated three-pot petrol unit that de­liv­ers 49kw and 96Nm and a 14.3-sec­ond 0-100kmh time.

The unit found in the cur­rent-gen Pi­canto in Aus­tralia, the 62kw/122nm 1.2-litre four-cylin­der petrol engine, also car­ries over, and is likely to con­tinue to be of­fered Down Un­der.

While the two 1.0-litre en­gines are of­fered only with a five-speed man­ual gear­box, the 1.2-litre unit is con­fig­ured for both a five-speed man­ual and a four-speed auto trans­mis­sion.

Kia Mo­tors Aus­tralia is yet to con­firm lo­cal specs, but Goauto un­der­stands the new Pi­canto will be of­fered here in both man­ual and auto guises, a change from the out­go­ing model which is only avail­able with an au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

A man­ual vari­ant could help main­tain the keen open­ing price of the Pi­canto, which is of­fered for $14,990 drive­away, with the auto ex­pected to in­crease slightly in price be­cause of new stan­dard tech and com­fort fea­tures.

It is be­lieved the new turbo 1.0-litre engine is be­ing con­sid­ered for the Aus­tralian mar­ket, but is far from locked in.

Fuel econ­omy fig­ures have not been re­leased for the new 1.0-litre turbo engine, but the carry-over 1.0-litre it sips 1.0 litres per 100km in man­ual guise and emits 98g-km of CO2, down from 95g in the previous model.

CO2 emis­sions have im­proved in the 1.2-litre car, down from 106 to 104g-km, but it is un­clear if the 5.3L-100km fuel fig­ure of the cur­rent hatch has im­proved.

The new Pi­canto will go on sale in Aus­tralia in May this year, just a year af­ter the sec­ond-gen ver­sion ar­rived as a toe-in-the-wa­ter ex­er­cise for the South Korean car-maker.

It has been a suc­cess­ful ex­per­i­ment so far, with Kia sell­ing 1934 ex­am­ples in the eight-and-ahalf months it was on sale in 2016, mak­ing it the sec­ond best-sell­ing mi­cro car in Aus­tralia be­hind the Mit­subishi Mirage with 3064 sales.

The Korean-built Pi­canto is a five-door-only af­fair in Europe this time around af­ter Kia dis­con­tin­ued the three-door that was not of­fered in Aus­tralia.

The new Pi­canto will in­clude cus­tomi­sa­tion op­tions in the cabin, with five colour com­bi­na­tions of­fered in Europe, in­clud­ing high-gloss black that matches black, grey and white up­hol­stery with white stitch­ing and a black or grey base colour. A Gt-line vari­ant with sporty flour­ishes, in­clud­ing a flat-bot­tom steer­ing wheel, will be avail­able in Europe but is un­likely to make it to Aus­tralia.

Un­der the skin, Kia en­gi­neers have mod­i­fied the Macpher­son strut front and tor­sion beam rear sus­pen­sion set-up and stiff­ened the anti-roll bars, while the 15mm larger wheel­base has also helped im­prove ride qual­ity and sta­bil­ity, ac­cord­ing to the car-maker.

The steer­ing ra­tio is 13 per­cent quicker than the out­go­ing model, thanks to a new steer­ing rack, and the Pi­canto will fea­ture torque vec­tor­ing by brak­ing as part of the elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol sys­tem.

Im­prove­ments

Kia says im­prove­ments to noise, vi­bra­tion and harsh­ness lev­els have en­sured the Pi­canto of­fers the qui­etest cabin of any A-seg­ment model.

A new sound-proof­ing panel un­der the dash­board and in the floor, ex­pand­able sound-ab­sorb­ing foam in the A and B-pil­lars, as well as a new sound-ab­sorb­ing engine cover and re­vised engine mounts have all made for a qui­eter car.

The cabin fea­tures a new float­ing 7.0-inch touch­screen, hous­ing sat nav with 3D map­ping, Ap­ple Carplay and An­droid Auto smart­phone in­te­gra­tion and a re­vers­ing cam­era with guide­lines. A wire­less phone charger will be an op­tion in some mar­kets.

Safety wise it fea­tures six airbags, ESC and op­tional au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing and tyre pres­sure mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem.

Forty-four per­cent of the Pi­canto’s bodyshell is cast in ad­vanced high-strength steel, which has cut 23kg from the body and im­proved ten­sile strength by 12 per­cent. The use of the steel has en­sured over­all static tor­sional stiff­ness has im­proved by 32 per­cent com­pared with the out­go­ing model.

Kia of­fi­cially re­vealed the new Pi­canto in early Jan­uary, but the Geneva show marks its first pub­lic show­ing. More Aus­tralian spe­cific de­tails are likely to be an­nounced at the Swiss event.

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