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Future models - Kia - Picanto

Geneva show: Kia unveils next-gen Picanto

Fresh face: After being launched on the Australian market in April last year, the current Kia Picanto is already set for a replacement when the fresh model lands in the second quarter this year.

New Kia Picanto light car revealed ahead of Q2 Australian launch

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Kia logo5 Jan 2017

By ROBBIE WALLIS

KIA has revealed images of its next-generation Picanto light car, showing more aggressive styling and an updated interior ahead of its full reveal at the Geneva motor show in March.

After teasing the new model with a series of renderings, the new images reveal a GT-Line Picanto with a sharper front fascia that is more typically Kia.

The new model has eschewed the round, soft look of the outgoing model, swapping its bulbous headlights and smiling lower grille for more angular, LED-equipped lamps and a sporty lower grille accompanied by a pair of air intakes.

The smaller, higher front grille takes design cues from Kia’s recently-released Optima sedan, while alloy wheels and red accents on the side skirts and front air intakes complete the sporty look of the new A-segment contender.

Rear styling is relatively unchanged, with the only real difference from the current model being a sporty black diffuser with red trim and a dual-tip exhaust.

Inside the cabin is where the updated model stands out the most, with a number of changes to equipment and trim boosting the appeal of the new model – however it is expected the new-generation Picanto will likely arrive in Australia with a single variant line-up similar to the current version.

The biggest change to the new model is the inclusion of a touchscreen display, which looks to include satellite navigation, while the air-conditioning cluster has been modernised to include an electronic screen and a pair of knobs, giving the dashboard a more symmetrical, modern look.

Leather trim adorns much of the interior, including the steering wheel, seats, door trim, centre storage space and gear lever boot, and all are accented with red stitching.

Despite retaining the same vehicle length, the new model’s wheelbase has stretched by 15mm and wheel width has increased to give it a more muscular stance.

It will be offered with a wider range of colour and trim options, allowing for greater personalisaiton.

Speaking to GoAuto in December, Kia Motors Australia media and corporate communications manager Kevin Hepworth said that the new model would “be a much more technologically advanced vehicle with a lot more kit in it and a lot more design.”

According to Mr Hepworth the release of the soon-to-be-superseded Picanto only a year before the arrival of a new model was done as a “toe in the water” to gauge public interest.

He said the sales response has been “exceptional”, with the Picanto ending 2016 in second place in the micro car segment with 1934 sales, behind only the Mitsubishi Mirage which tallied 3064.

More information on powertrains and technical information will be released closer to its launch date.

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