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Future models - Kia - Grand Carnival

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Two-years and $330 million later: The 11-seater Grand Carnival will be joined by a short-body version, both of which are expected to go on sale here mid-2006.

Kia's Grand Carnival to offer 11-seating capacity, improved comfort and safety features

Kia logo15 Aug 2005

KIA Motors has broadened the appeal of its market-leading Carnival people-mover by announcing an 11-seater version of the just-unveiled VQ model.

Called the Grand Carnival, the Korean manufacturer spent more than two years and $330 million developing the 11-seater, which has over the current model more engine power and improved comfort and safety features including six airbags and vehicle dynamic control.

The Grand Carnival will be joined by a short-body version, both of which are expected to go on sale here mid-2006.

Pricing for the short-body model is expected to be close to the current car’s competitive $29,990, according to a Kia Automotive Australia spokesman, while the long-body model is expected to undercut the Chrysler Voyager, which retails from $55,990.

A 2.9-litre CRDi turbo-diesel engine is available in other markets, however Australia will get the new aluminium-block 3.8-litre petrol V6, which offers a 30 per cent power jump over the existing 2.5-litre V6.

The new V6 develops 178kW of power and 340Nm of torque and is mated to a five-speed Sportmatic automatic transmission.

With a wheelbase of 3020mm and overall length of 5130mm, the Grand Carnival is 34mm longer than a Voyager and 10mm shy of the Chrysler’s 3030mm wheelbase.

The Grand Carnival’s seating layout is 2-3-3-3.

Visually, the wagon has a long nose with distinctive grille and clear-lens headlights. At the rear it borrows styling cues from the Chrysler.

The Grand Carnival also heralds new features for the family wagon, including a standard fold-flat third-row seat and the availability of power sliding doors and tailgate.

17 center imageSafety levels have been improved with active front headrests, six standard airbags, which also includes full-length side curtain airbags for all three rows of seats, as well as four-channel anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution.

Additional standard safety equipment available in Korean models includes a tyre-pressure monitoring system and traction and stability control.

Despite its size increase, the newcomer is expected to be significantly lighter but stronger than the existing model.

Kia engineers have turned the people-mover into a driver-focused vehicle with more power, less weight and a new chassis with four-wheel independent suspension comprising MacPherson-style front struts and a multi-link system at the rear. Stabiliser bars are used at each end.

Stopping power has been improved with beefier four-wheel disc brakes, while wheel-and-tyre combinations are larger with 16-inch steel wheels and 225/70 R16 tyres or 17-inch alloy wheels fitted to 235/60 R17 tyres.

The flip-and-fold second-row seats provide easy access to third row and a new, simple-to-operate 60/40 split-folding into-the-floor third row is standard.

In Korea, the Grand Carnival will be available in LX and EX trim levels, both of which are equipped with tri-zone air conditioning, power windows, cruise control, CD stereo, remote central locking and an alarm.

The EX adds a chrome grille, foglights, eight-way electric driver’s seat (with electric lumbar control), heated mirrors, premium stereo, auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather steering wheel/shift knob, electric rear side windows, a compass, roof rack and mock wood trim.

Kia Motors aims to sell 20,000 Carnivals in Korea and export 30,000 by the end of the year. Production will ramp up next year with 40,000 domestic Korean sales and 160,000 export sales scheduled.

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