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Seoul show: Kia’s Novo points to next Cerato

On the up: Kia’s Novo concept – shown at the 2015 Seoul motor show – might provide some pointers to the next Cerato small car due to be unveiled at the Detroit motor show in January.

Kia concept indicates new Cerato will get sporty shape, clean cabin and turbo power


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2 Apr 2015

KIA’S next Cerato shaped up and stripped down at today’s Seoul motor show as the company showed off the minimalistic Kia Novo concept.

The concept demonstrates Kia’s teaser approach to future models and carries the disclaimer that it only “provides a glimpse into Kia’s plans for its future compact car line-up”.

But Kia said styling and cabin design were likely to translated into the next Cerato production model. It is just a matter of when.

The current Cerato was launched in 2013 and GoAuto has learned that there is a mid-life makeover expected in early 2016.

Given the “novo” translation means to rejuvenate, the concept indicates it may reflect a sheet-metal change and cabin redesign next year.

It is possibly too early for Kia to hint at a design philosophy for the expected all-new Cerato in about 2018.

Unusually, the design is from Kia’s Namyang design centre in Korea. Most previous designs have come out of Kia’s studios in Europe or the US.

The concept is based on a modified Cerato platform and shares some lines with the two-door Koup.

It features minimal front overhangs, longer rear overhangs and a fastback roofline with slim, long side-glass area to give it a raked, sporty profile.

The front continues Kia’s “tiger nose” family grille that has been extended to meet slim laser headlights.

In its statement announcing the concept, Kia said the car also had additional laser lights within the lower bumper.

The Novo concept was shown with the company’s 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine also used in the Pro_cee’d hatchback.

It is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that is not yet available by the company.

A highlight of the concept car is the sunken tyre shape called “adaptive concave profile” that allows two contact points on the road.

This, Kia said, serves to cool the rubber and channel excess road water away from the wheels for greater grip.

The unique 20-inch tyres feature two slim contact points on the outer edges to provide lower rolling resistance and reduce road noise, while contributing to provide a high level of grip under cornering.

In other styling notes, Kia said: “The large front wheel arches lead directly into a strong, consistent shoulder line to meet the rear laser lamps, whose shape echoes those of the front for an identical light signature.” “The rear of the car uses prominent lines and low triangular exhausts to add greater width and volume to its shape and emphasise the car’s sportiness and on-road stability.

“Crisp lines surrounding the rear of the car ensure a high aerodynamic efficiency.

“The Novo’s sharply creased bodywork gives the car a clean, modern appearance when viewed from the side, with strong lines on the doors, skirts and aluminium wing vents.

“Rear-hinged doors complete the car’s striking profile appearance, with slim, central pop-out door handles running level to the finely-sculpted aluminium door mirrors.” The cabin could hold stronger indications about Kia’s move towards a cleaner, more minimalistic interior.

“Focused solely on the driver, the minimalist interior provides few distractions from the task of driving, while all occupants benefit from plenty of space, a result of the car’s long body and intelligent packaging,” the company said.

“The long, wide dashboard, whose sharp lines are embellished with the use of leather, stitching and aluminium highlights, is angled towards the driver.

“The instrument binnacle shows relevant information through a compact three-dimensional hologram display, while a ‘blind control’ touch pad next to the steering wheel allows drivers to control the car’s many functions without having to take their eyes off the road ahead.

“The touch pad incorporates a fingerprint scanner, which automatically sets up elements of the car according to the driver’s preferences, such as music selection, audio volume and the type of information displayed.

“As well as the neat, simple design forms that make up the dashboard and centre console, the interior’s four individual dark brown leather sports seats add to the minimalist ambience of the cabin, each made up of simple linear shapes and featuring built-in inertia reel seatbelts to minimize cabin clutter.” Kia Australia said: “There are currently no plans to bring the Kia Novo concept to production, though Kia has a history of delivering production vehicles that bear a strong resemblance to concept vehicles that precede them.

“The Kia Novo concept provides a glimpse into Kia’s plans for its future compact car line-up.” The Cerato has been a popular model for Kia, selling 6679 in 2014 for a 2.9 per cent share of the busy small-car segment.

Sales are increasing. In January and February, the Cerato lifted its share in the segment to 3.9 per cent with 1378 sales.

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