Kia’s revamp of the small city car includes new styling, longer dimensions and a total of four new engines.
These include a 1.0-litre petrol engine and a larger 1.2-litre option. The smaller 1.0-litre engine will also be available in flex fuel and biofuel in some world markets where the alternative fuels are popular.
Both four-speed automatic and five-speed manual gearboxes are available with the Picanto depending on the model and Kia is making its version of Stop & Start technology available on some versions of the next generation model.
This could bring CO2 emissions down to sub-100g/km level and qualify the Picanto for exemption from road tax, or VED, and the London congestion charge.
Kia says power will range from 69 to 85PS despite the reduced exhaust emissions in the new Picanto.
Initially released as a five-door car, the Kia Picanto will also be released as a three-door model for the first time ever. The three-door Picanto will go on sale some time in Autumn, according to the Korean manufacturer.
Extra technology in the new Picanto includes updated interior materials, LED daytime running lights and button-start depending on the chosen trim level.
The Kia Picanto is expected to score highly on the EuroNCAP safety tests and comes with six or seven airbags depending on the model.
Kia will introduce the new Picanto at the Geneva Motor Show in March for the first time. A release date in Spring 2011 has been confirmed by the manufacturer and prices are expected to be announced closer to the on-sale date.
The 2011 Kia Picanto hatchback will replace the current first generation model in the Kia line up.