Kia’s unique POP concept showcases future tech

October 5th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The striking Kia POP concept, just unveiled at the Paris Auto Salon, offers a glimpse of Kia Motors’ take on the future.

The electric-powered, bubble-shaped three-seater has been built to showcase the technology contained within the unusual body. Kia Motors used the Paris show to confirm that its first production electric car will go on sale in late 2011 — it’s tipped to be a small CUV (Compact Utility Vehicle).

Showcasing Kia’s increasing focus on new technologies, the chrome-coloured, three-metre-long, three-seater POP with its electric drivetrain, oblong-shaped side windows and butterfly-hinged doors took centre stage on Kia’s Paris Show stand.

Unconventional features of POP include its side-window design, the dot-pattern head and taillights, back-lit front grille, rear-view cameras in each door, full-length glass roof and the unique wheels — all point to inspiration from outside the usual automotive spheres. Designs have taken cues from as areas such as gliders and high-speed bicycles. Some of these design aspects may well be seen in the designs of future Kia vehicles.

Inside, a small piece of plexi-glass sits in front of the steering wheel and shows a Transparent Organic LED display for speed, battery charge and the other main readouts, when the car is running.  At other times it is totally transparent.

To the right of the steering wheel, a sculpted, chrome-look panel features only one button, with every other function (audio, sat-nav, climate control, etc) controlled via an animated touch screen.

The front seat is a sculpted bench, with eye-catching, flowing lines, while the rear seat is positioned at an offset angle, resulting in remarkable legroom for a 1,740 mm wide car with a wheelbase of just 2,055 mm.  Designed to accommodate a single passenger, this seat is a two-part affair, with a base that flips up when not in use and a backrest and a head restraint integrated into the headlining.

Continue reading “Kia’s unique POP concept showcases future tech” »

Kia to ‘POP’ off new concept at Paris Motor Show

August 24th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Kia Motors has released a set of teaser images that preview an advanced green technology concept car called POP, which is scheduled to officially debut at the upcoming Paris Auto Salon in September.

Continuing its recent tradition of producing eye-catching concept vehicles, Kia is taking POP even further by show-casing environmental technology that could be powering new Kia cars in the future. Kia first began researching electric power more than 25 years ago, when it released its first concept vehicle using hydrogen as a fuel source. But it’s only now that the technology and cost issues have been overcome and Kia expects to release its first 100% green production vehicle to the public within the next two years.

Kia claims it’s POP is a zero-emission all-electric vehicle powered by an advanced electric drivetrain and next-generation lithium polymer batteries that take up much less space and weigh less than traditional battery arrays.

Smaller than the current Kia Picanto, the forthcoming concept is inspired by the Kia Ray electric concept car that was unveiled earlier this year at New York Auto Show. Among the features of the POP concept to watch out for are LED lightning and a large panoramic roof that reveals the vehicle’s purple colored interior and chromed dashboard.

The Kia POP concept will be unveiled at a special media event at the 2010 Paris Auto Salon on September 30, when full details will be provided.

Kia delivers ‘The Message’ on the Sportage with hip hop ad (+video)

August 19th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Korean car maker Kia has been working overtime on generating street cred recently. Firstly, there was a American commercial for the strangely-shaped Kia Soul that featured hip hop hamsters singing a classic Black Sheep track called “The Choice is Yours,”. Now, Kia Australia has followed up with some more old school hip hop in an advertising campaign for the new Kia Sportage. While the SUV vehicle isn’t too exciting in terms of performance the 1982 early-rap classic song “The Message” by Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five makes the commercial something special.

Instead of rocking some overplayed rodents, the ad folks across the ditch have put the original Grandmaster and Scorpio in the car with a suburbanite dad who lip syncs along with the forefathers of rap.

Will we see the commercial here in NZ? Perhaps, but why wait when you can watch it below. There’s also a making of video, as well which sees the old school hip hoppers waxing lyrical about the ad. Continue reading “Kia delivers ‘The Message’ on the Sportage with hip hop ad (+video)” »

2011 Kia Sportage officially unveiled for NZ

August 6th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Kia NZ has officially announced the arrival of it’s third generation Kia Sportage, that comes with a suspension system tuned for NZ roads. The 2011 Kia Sportage will go on sale in New Zealand from October 1, with the launch date taking into account the rise in GST, thus avoiding buyer confusion over fluctuating pricing. Firm prices are yet to be announced, but they are expected to be competitive, with the entry model targeting the $32,990-to-$34,990 bracket.

“New Sportage couldn’t arrive at a better time — the market is picking up and buyers are looking for excitement and inspirational styling, which Sportage has in abundance,” says Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand.

“It’s an active lifestyle vehicle with attitude. The styling is edgy, resembling a sports coupe, yet when you climb inside, the new Sportage is extremely roomy, practical and packed with thoughtful features, such as a reversing camera on most models.

“With the recently introduced Sorento R, Cerato sedan and Koup, and now Sportage, we can now offer among the most advanced and stylish range of vehicles in New Zealand.”

The rakish European styling of the 2011 Sportage continues Kia’s efforts to be seen as a “youthful and sporting” brand. Its lines have been taken from the adventurous Kia Kue concept vehicle that did the motor show rounds throughout 2007, including the unusual rear slanting C-pillar that increases the view of rear passengers.

Longer, wider and lower than the previous model — by 90mm, 15mm and 60mm respectively — and with a 10mm longer wheelbase, the third generation Sportage is roomier and more powerful than previous models.

Continue reading “2011 Kia Sportage officially unveiled for NZ” »

Third-generation Kia Sportage arriving in NZ soon

July 28th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

With a new bodyshell, new engines and fresh styling the upcoming Kia Sportage is an urban-friendly compact CUV that is ready for New Zealand lifestyles and will consume less fuel and emitting less CO2.

Set to go on sale in NZ this October the Sportage is longer, wider and lower than the previous model — by 90 mm, 15 mm and 60 mm respectively — but the all-new design successfully retains the key SUV features — a commanding driving position, heightened sense of security and powerful road presence — that made the second-generation Kia Sportage so popular.

The previous Sportage was introduced in 2004 (2005 in New Zealand) and marked a huge step forward for Kia. Over the next six years, Sportage attracted thousands of new customers to Kia, and achieved global sales of more than 860,000 units.

Now, under the direction of Kia’s Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer, the Kia design teams have created a third-generation Sportage, incorporating Kia’s new design DNA and many features from the 2007 Kia Kue concept car, to make the new Sportage immediately identifiable.

“With the all-new Sportage, we have created a five-seat compact SUV with maximised customer appeal. It is urban-friendly and fully in tune with changing consumer expectations and demands,” says Hyoung-Keun Lee, President, Kia Motors Corporation.

Continue reading “Third-generation Kia Sportage arriving in NZ soon” »

Kia’s style focus pays off in NZ market

July 22nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Kia Motors focus on style is starting to pay dividends in the New Zealand market.

Latest figures show new models like the Kia Cerato Koup and Kia Sorento R are being purchased from Kia Motors dealerships as buyers fall for their designs as much as their value.

The arrival of the sculptured Cerato Koup has given Kia the lead in the sporty vehicle segment of the New Zealand market, outselling other 2-door vehicles like the VW Eos, Audi A5 and Nissan 370Z. In fact, the Cerato Koup has revitalised the sports segment, helping to lift sales by almost double in the first five months of 2010.

“Cerato Koup has been an outstanding success for Kia in New Zealand and, at times, we have run out of stock completely,” says Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand.

“The excellent response from customers has caused us to lift our target for Cerato Koup sales by 50% for 2010.”

Continue reading “Kia’s style focus pays off in NZ market” »

Kia Rio EX 2010 Review

June 25th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The second-generation of Kia’s mid-size Rio hatchback first reached New Zealand back in 2006 arriving as a capable and modern option for the budget conscious driver. But the Kiwi love affair with the hatchback meant competition was fierce and the plucky Korean compact didn’t stay new for too long. For 2010 the Rio has been given a facelift and a new lease on life, but will this be enough to iron out the wrinkles on this ageing model. Car and SUV spent a week with the reworked Rio to find out more.

As the latest vehicle to be updated in the Kia range the Rio receives the new corporate tiger-nose grille. That’s just the centrepiece of a completely restyled front end that incorporates a more aggressive front bumper with a gaping lower air dam and more pronounced fog lamps. The headlights are also new and use a split two-light design. It’s all very tidy along the sides with body coloured mouldings, door handles, a curved window line and wing mirror mounted indicators. At the rear a new bumper with a black plastic diffuser surrounds a chrome-finished exhaust tip. Completing the clean-cut look are eight-spoke 15-inch alloys and a subtle high-mounted hatch spoiler.

Continue reading “Kia Rio EX 2010 Review” »

Official 2010 Kia Soul hamster commercial

May 7th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The official 2010 Kia Soul hamster commercial with music by Goldfish! The Soul. A new way to roll.

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