Kia launches two ‘significant’ new cars

The Kia Picanto is the smallest car in Kia’s range and the latest version will be no different, according to the increasingly popular Korean manufacturer.

It will also be the first of the two to arrive, hitting UK showrooms in spring 2011 with a complete overhaul of the exterior styling to give it a more modern look for both three- and five-door versions.

This includes a new, raised bonnet with bulging headlamps, a large grille and angular lines doen the flanks.

The new Picanto will boast two frugal petrol engines in 1.0-litre and 1.2-litre sizes. To bring CO2 emissions under a road tax free 100g/km, some versions are expected to include Stop & Start technology in future.

The update to the Kia range will continue with the second of the ‘significant’ new models, the Kia Rio, in 2012.

Featuring styling in keeping with the likes of the Sportage, the new Rio supermini boasts a front end almost identical to the smaller Picanto.

Kia aims to sell the car on its looks, which is says are a ‘vast improvement’ over previous generations of the supermini.

However, it will also deliver more space than the outgoing models – the boot is extended to 292-litres – and lower CO2 emissions. When it is released in 2012, Kia estimates a 1.1-litre diesel engine will be capable of CO2 of 85g/km.

Both the Kia Picanto and Kia Rio will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday 1 March. They will appear alongside Kia’s new turbocharged Kappa engine, the lightweight, more efficient powerplant set to appear in both new models.