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Future models - Kia - Picanto - X-Line

Frankfurt show: Kia shows off Picanto X-Line

Mighty mouse: Kia’s Picanto X-Line will make use of a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine for a 73kW/172Nm output, enabling a 0-100km/h sprint in 10.1 seconds.

Jacked-up Kia Picanto gives micro car a crossover look, but Aussie tilt not on cards

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Kia logo7 Sep 2017

By TUNG NGUYEN

KIA has revealed a jacked-up version of its Picanto micro car dubbed X-Line ahead of its public debut at the Frankfurt motor show next week, however the South Korean car-maker’s Australian arm has no plans to bring the crossover-style hatchback to local showrooms.

Kia Motors Australia general manager of media and corporate communications Kevin Hepworth rated the X-Line’s chances of arriving Down Under as “highly unlikely”.

According to Kia, the X-Line “draws inspirations from Kia’s popular crossover and SUV model lines, including the Sportage and Sorento”.

The new variant sits 15mm higher than the regular Picanto hatchback and has black plastic cladding around the wheelarches and other off-road-inspired adornments including kickplates front and rear.

Kia says the body treatment gives the X-Line “a more confident and go-anywhere appearance”, but with no mechanical changes other than the suspension tweak, the X-Line is not expected to stray too far from paved roads.

Under the bonnet, the X-Line uses a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine – as seen in the Picanto GT Line – which produces 73kW of power at 4500rpm and maximum torque of 172Nm from 1500-4000rpm.

With power sent to the front axle, the pint-sized hatchback can sprint from zero to 100km/h in 10.1 seconds, while returning combined-cycle fuel economy of 4.5 litres per 100km and emitting 104g/km of CO2.

When the X-Line hits international markets by the end of the year, its standard equipment list will mirror its siblings with 16-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, keyless entry, a reversing camera and 7.0-inch infotainment screen, as well as a D-shaped steering wheel.

Kia Motors Europe chief operating officer Michael Cole described the new-generation Picanto as a sales success internationally and that “globally, it is one of our best-selling vehicles”.

In Australia, the Picanto is the most popular vehicle in the micro car segment with 2148 new registrations for the first eight months of the year, a substantial 166.8 per cent uplift year-on-year thanks to the introduction of the new-generation model in May.

Kia is pairing its smallest model with its largest at this year’s Frankfurt show with the facelifted Sorento seven-seat SUV also making its debut.

Already confirmed for an Australian debut later this year, the updated Sorento wears a new-look exterior thanks to repositioned LED headlights and daytime running lights, as well as revised front and rear bumpers.

Inside, the Sorento gains an updated Apple CarPlay/Android Auto-compatible entertainment and information system, new steering wheel and tweaked driver instrument cluster, while Kia has also added more soft-touch materials throughout.

As reported, the largest change to the new Sorento will be the inclusion of a new eight-speed automatic transmission for variants powered by the 2.2-litre diesel engine.

The additional two ratios contribute to a lower CO2 rating of 159g/km (down from 172g/km), while an improvement in fuel economy is also expected although not yet revealed.

The upgraded Sorento’s GT Line variant adds Kia’s signature four-lamp LED foglights, red brake callipers, bigger sill steps, quilted seats and chrome highlights throughout.

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