Kia unveils V6-powered GT Concept Car

September 16th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Kia has officially unveiled its rear-wheel-drive concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It’s a striking machine with some styling cues taken from the muscle car era of the 1960s and 1970s.

The Kia GT is another example of the Korean brand’s new design-led direction and hints at its next generation of cars. The our-door sports sedan draws inspiration from the Kia Kee concept car, first shown at the same event in 2007.

“At the onset of this project,” says Gregory Guillaume, Kia’s European Design Chief, “the design team was inspired by the spirit of iconic 1970s GT cars: sumptuous and elegant vehicles capable of whisking passengers from Paris to the South of France in effortless style and at high speed.  We wanted to create something similarly graceful, athletic and confident, but not aggressive or overbearing.”

The 4.690 mm long and 1.890 mm wide concept car has a front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout and is given different proportions compared to a front-wheel drive car. Continue reading “Kia unveils V6-powered GT Concept Car” »

2012 Kia Rio looking good before Geneva debut

February 16th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Kia has just revealed the first photos of its new 2012 Rio before the hatchback officially debuts at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.

The Korean carmaker has become style focused in recent years and the Rio is one of the last models in the range to fully benefit. Design director Peter Schreyer has made sure the new Rio is a modern and aggressive looking hatch with sharp angles and Kia’s tiger nose front grille. It’s a sharp looker and will be on the radar for many show goers in Geneva.

Under the bonnet, the Rio will be offered with a range of gasoline and diesel powertrains in global markets, including an eco-friendly 1.1-litre diesel that only generates 85 g/km of CO2. But the engine that is receiving the most attention is Kia’s new 1.2-litre turbocharged direct-injected engine which comes with great anticipation for European markets.

The Rio is scheduled to go on sale in the UK from this September, with a three-door variant expected to launch in early 2012. We don’t have any official word as to when we’ll see the new Rio here in NZ yet. Continue reading “2012 Kia Rio looking good before Geneva debut” »

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 unveils Ray concept car

February 15th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

A futuristic Plug-in Hybrid car has been unveiled by Kia Motors at the recent Chicago Auto Show.

The Kia Ray, revealed at the Chicago Auto Show, takes its striking shape from the current Kia Cerato recently launched in New Zealand (it’s built on the same platform) and projects it into a future where electricity will be the dominant fuel for motor vehicles.

According to Peter Schreyer, Chief Design Officer of Kia Motors Corporation: “Being green doesn’t have to be an obvious statement anymore and Kia Ray exemplifies a viable blend of modern, eco-minded features for today’s environmentally conscious consumers. It is important to imagine what people will want in the future from a green perspective early in the design process. People want to reduce their carbon footprint without driving carbon copies.”

As the world demands more efficient vehicle designs that combine modern looks with functionality and fuel economy, the Kia Ray concept is seen as a bold new collaboration between design and engineering, he adds.

Kia Motors New Zealand General Manager Todd McDonald says the Kia Ray concept is a stylish and exciting development of the Cerato design and cleverly links it to the company’s environmental research and development technology.

“It’s a smart piece of thinking and indicates how far the company has progressed in design and technology, as well as being a global green technology leader,” he says.

The Kia Ray concept is the latest development in a special alternative fuel and power research programme set up by Kia Motors under its sub-brand ‘EcoDynamics’ — the most efficient vehicles produced by the company will wear this badge. Other projects developed under ‘EcoDynamics’ include the Kia Borrego Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) followed by the Forte LPI Hybrid, the petrol Kia cee’d Hybrid and the twin-turbo diesel Kia Sorento Hybrid.

Ray is the fore-runner of a prospective plug-in hybrid vehicle that Kia Motors is considering for production. Designed with light-weight and recycled materials, as well as hexagonal roof-top solar cells embedded in the glass roof panel that power extra lighting or climate control systems, the Kia Ray also  demonstrates the progress in the evolution of Kia Motors Design DNA.

Power comes from an all-aluminum 114kW Gasoline Direct Injected (GDI) 1.4-litre engine mated to a permanently-engaged fixed ratio Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), used in combination with a 78kW electric motor. Depending on driving conditions, power is sent to the wheels from the petrol engine, the electric motor, or both together.

2011 Kia Sportage gets new look

February 4th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

When the Geneva Motor Show opens up next month, the third-generation Kia Sportage will be revealed and is looking to bring the SUV to the top of the class in looks.

Resembling a scaled down version of the recently introduced Sorento R, the new Sportage incorporates the Peter Schreyer-penned Kia design language in an an aggressive looking package that should stand out among competitors. The new model is longer, lower and wider, with the now signature Tiger front grille.

The Sportage is expected to use the same 2.4-litre inline-four found in the new Hyundai Tucson when it arrives later this year, although their may be a range of gas and diesel power options from which to choose.

Check back as we bring you more vehicles from the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.

Kia reworks design on new 2010 Rio

November 23rd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Kia Rio 2010 fq

The 2010 Rio is the latest Kia model to receive an injection of design dna from Kia Motors’ German-based chief designer Peter Schreyer.

The new tiger nose grille that is the focus of the re-styled front of the new Rio which is just arriving in New Zealand showrooms. The five-door Rio hatchback is the first to appear and will be joined within weeks by the four-door Rio sedan.

The rear of the Rio has also received treatment, a new bumper complete with a plastic diffuser and exposed chromed tail pipe and new eight-spoke alloy wheels, body-coloured mouldings and re-designed side mirrors with LED turn signals built into the housing round off the exterior changes.

Inside, the 2010 has a brand new dashboard featuring a textured surface, plus new grey colours and upholstery materials. A revised centre stack with new audio system, redesigned instrument clusters with new orange-red lighting (including a trip computer) and new climate control knobs are also new.

The 1.6-litre CVVT (Constantly Variable Valve Timing) petrol engine has been kept and puts out 82kW of power and 145Nm of torque with an average 6.5L/100km fuel consumption for the 5-speed manual model — an automatic transmission is optional.

The 1.5-litre Common Rail Diesel (CRD) engine, which is among the most frugal power plants in New Zealand with an overall economy figure of 4.5L/100km, continues to be available in the new 2010 Kia Rio and comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard.

One thing that has not changed with the new Kia Rio is the pricing, which starts at $21,990 for the 1.6-litre petrol, five-speed manual, five-door hatchback.

To find out more click here to visit the Kia website.

Kia Cerato Coupe on sale in NZ now

November 4th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Kia Cerato Koup fq

Kia’s first worldwide sports model, the all new Cerato Koup, has gone on sale in New Zealand from an affordable price of just $27,990.

The style-driven 2.0 litre-powered 2-door roadster takes Kia Motors another step closer in its plan to re-invent itself as a design-led, youth-inspired vehicle manufacturer.

Based on the chassis and drive-train of the Cerato 4-door sedan, the new Koup is the latest embodiment of Kia’s Design DNA. Developed under the guidance of Kia’s German-based Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, the Koup is the first-ever 2-door sports coupe built by the company.

Kia Cerato Koup rqThe new Cerato Koup broadens the appeal of the Kia Motors line-up, which has also seen the introduction of the fun Soul city crossover, as well as the Cerato sedan and refreshed executive Magentis sedan, this year. And the expanding range includes the new Kia Sorento R, which is being introduced at the same time as Koup.

According to Todd McDonald, General Manager for Kia Motors New Zealand: “Kia is on a roll, internationally and in New Zealand, and we feel very positive going into 2010 with a great line up of new and refreshed models that are breathing more life into the brand and the market.

Whilst it is clearly derived from the Cerato, the Koup shares just one body panel with its 4-door cousin; the bonnet. Peter Schreyer’s design team has given the 2-door model a lower profile, starting with the aggressive nose that incorporates the new Tiger Grille signature Kia identity, large pillarless doors (a first for a coupe in this class) with scalloped lower panels and a raked roofline finishing with a short, styled rear. The side view is further enhanced by 16 or 17-inch alloy wheels, fitted with low profile tyres.

Kia Cerato Koup intThe cabin is very spacious for a 2-door coupe, yet feels snug with the grey and black tones that identify its sporty character. Leather upholstery, detailed with red stitching, is standard on the two SX models, while velour is the choice for LX. Metal accents around the dash and console sharpen the interior styling.

The two front bucket seats continue the sporty theme, with sports-styled instruments. Both models feature lavish equipment, including fog lights, remote door locking, steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise control functions, tilt and reach adjustable steering wheel and sunglasses holder. The 6-speaker MP3 compatible sound system is upgraded in the SX models to include a 6-CD changer. The SX also comes with a power sunroof, reverse warning sensors and automatic climate control, as opposed to the LX model’s manual A/C.

Th 115kW, 2.0 litre engine delivers a lively performance and sounds much throatier with the twin exhaust system specially tuned by sound engineers.

Kia Cerato Koup fq1The engine is matched to either a 5-speed manual gearbox or a sequential shift automatic transmission. From standstill, this engine can propel the new Koup to 100km/h in 9.3 seconds and power it to a top speed of 190kmh.

All Kia Koup models feature ESP (electronic stability programme) for greater driving safety and come with a full complement of six airbags.

The full Kia Koup model range includes the $27,990 LX model with the 5-speed manual gearbox and the fully-featured SX model with the choice of 5-speed manual or the sequential automatic, both priced at $33,990. As with all Kia cars, the Koup comes with all on-road costs such as WoF and registration, plus a 5-year/100,000 factory warranty programme, 24-hour emergency assistance, a full tank of fuel and the first 1500km service, included in the purchase price.

To find out more click here to go to the Kia web site.

Kia launches updated Magentis in NZ

July 24th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Kia Magentis fq

Kia has just introduced an upgraded Magentis sedan in New Zealand and it’s looking to increase Kia’s recent sales success in the kiwi market.

The large mid-size Magentis has been given a complete makeover with sharper styling, thanks to Kia’s Chief Designer Peter Schreyer.

The 2009 Magentis adopts the tiger grille that Schreyer created as the new face of Kia, which gives the car a more aggressive look and blends with the narrower, faired-in headlights. The rear of the car has also been re-designed and incorporates a spoiler in the boot lid, along with shrouded tail lights.

The changes have stretched the overall length of the new Kia Magentis by 65mm to 2800mm, improving the aerodynamics of the car. Other external changes include a more prominent sill below the doors and LED turning lights built into the door mirrors.

Inside, the 2009 Kia Magentis adopts a new instrument cluster and new centre console, which includes a new gear selector gate. The Magentis retains its large passenger and boot space that proved popular when the model first appeared in 2006 — the boot is the largest in its class, swallowing up to four sets of golf bags with room to spare.

Under the bonnet, the new Magentis gets the latest version of Kia’s 2.4-litre Theta II DOHC petrol engine, which has received a boost in power and torque, whilst returning a 2% increase in fuel economy. Only one transmission option is offered, the five-speed sequential automatic that can be used in either a clutchless manual or full auto mode. Kia Motors NZ will offer the 2-litre common rail diesel engine as an indent order model only.

Priced at $35,990, the new Magentis retails for around $6,000 less than the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Maxima and Mazda 6 — the Kia price also includes a 5-year/100,000km factory warranty programme, 24-hour roadside assist, all on-road costs and the first 1500km service.

“Added together, the changes have delivered a substantially different and much improved Magentis — it not only looks better its drives and feel better, too,” says Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand. “And at the introductory price, it has to stack up as one of the bargain buys in the medium sedan market, even taking into account that the purchaser doesn’t have to pay any on-road costs.”

The Magentis has a D/C outlet inside the centre console to power an MP3 player or charge a cellphone, whilst keeping the wires and appliance hidden out of sight. There’s also a lever inside the boot to release the rear seat back rests – the boot also has its own light and D/C power outlet.

Other equipment includes an air conditioning system; keyless entry for doors and boot, incorporating a full anti-theft alarm; power windows; easy-to-operate audio and cruise control buttons on the steering wheel; rear park warning system and alloy wheels.

Safety features include an ESP electronic stability programme that incorporates traction control and ABS anti lock brakes, along with six air bags to protect occupants in the event of a crash.

Road Tests

Silver Sponsors

Car and SUV Team

Richard-Edwards-2016Richard Edwards

Managing editor

linkedinphotoDarren Cottingham

Motoring writer

robertbarry-headRobert Barry

Chief reporter

Ian-Ferguson-6Ian Ferguson

Advertising Consultant

debDeborah Baxter

Operations Manager

RSS Latest News from Autotalk

RSS Latest News from Dieseltalk