Kia's new Picanto makes its debut at Geneva

The all-new Kia Picanto, has grown up slightly and acquires some new chain cam low CO2 petrol engines emitting as little as 90g/km CO2. The character of the car has been transformed from feminine to chunky, with a greater sense of stability and strength which is emphasised by the muscular wheel arches and wide set alloy wheels.

As well as a 5-door there will be a 3-door model, with unique treatment to C-pillar, bumpers and grille that will go on sale later in 2011.

While becoming more stylish, the new 3.6-metre long Picanto will also remain an extremely practical car.  On the outside, overall vehicle length has increased by 60 mm, and the wheelbase has grown by 15 mm.  These increases, and some clever interior packaging, have enhanced the cabin space for people (front legroom is up by 36 mm), and for luggage, with boot capacity increased by 27% to 200 litres.

Attention to small details of the exterior design have improved the new Picanto's aerodynamics, reducing its drag figure to just Cd 0.31 - better than the vast majority of A-segment cars.

Projection-style headlamps and LED rear lamps will be available, together with a choice of steel or alloy wheels up to 15 inches - bringing added sophistication to the exterior appearance.

Manufactured exclusively at Kia's Seosan plant in Korea (not India), Picanto's new found maturity is also reflected in the interior design, which sets a new benchmark in its class for material quality and trim choices, new Picanto will be presented in the UK with a wide range of six exterior colours.

New Picanto's sophisticated interior will offer buyers numerous 'big car' comfort and convenience features - many of them fitted for the first time on a car in this segment.

The interior shows the same chic functionality as the exterior with major controls arranged in an attractive and easy to use layout which emphasises the width and space of the interior.  The thick rimmed two-spoke steering wheel and the signature Kia 'three cylinder' instrument cluster with its clear and precise graphics, reflect the consistency with which the new design philosophy is being used throughout the Kia product line-up.

New Picanto will also be available with automatically controlled air-conditioning, electronic and heated folding door mirrors with side repeaters, automatic light control with 'escort' and 'welcome' modes, steering wheel mounted audio controls, retractable dual cup holders.

Other new features available include smart-key entry system with engine start/stop button, AUX, iPod and USB connections for the RDS radio CD player with MP3 compatibility, Bluetooth® hands-free with voice recognition,  heated front seats and Intelligent Stop and Go that further enhances fuel economy.

Kia Picanto Press (1)

Highly efficient engines deliver great fuel economy

In Europe, every new Picanto will come with a highly efficient Kappa engine that helps lower this model's CO2base-line to just 95 g/km and improves fuel consumption to as much as 67.3 mpg.

Three versions of the Kappa will be offered - two in the UK.  A four-cylinder, 1,248 cc engine that generates 85 ps and 121 Nm of torque tops the line-up.  Two three-cylinder, 998 cc units will present customers with a choice of petrol or Bi-fuel technologies (LPG + petrol) - Bi-fuel is available in selected countries but not the UK.  The petrol engine produces 69 ps and 95 Nm of torque.  The Bi-fuel unit delivers 82 ps and 94 Nm of torque.

Made in Korea, the Kappa family of engines share many common characteristics, including dual CVVT (continuously variable valve timing), a cast aluminium block, off-set crankshaft, maintenance-free long-life timing chain and low-friction 'beehive' valve springs.

This combination of advanced technologies means that exhaust emissions have been significantly reduced, so that the new, petrol only, Picanto line-up will have a CO2 rating of 99 to 125 g/km.  Fuel economy will range from 67.3 to 42.2 mpg, contributing to lower running costs.

Selected models will also be available with Kia's fuel-stretching EcoDynamics technologies (automatic stop-start - ISG, advanced alternator control, upgraded starter motor and low-rolling resistance tyres), cutting emissions even further - to between 95 and 102 g/km.

The standard transmission for all engines in new Picanto will be a 5-speed manual, while a 4-speed automatic gearbox will be available as an option on the 1.25-litre 85 ps engine.

Improved ride, stability and braking

New Picanto's suspension and running gear has been developed from the previous model and the Hyundai i10 for responsive handling while improving ride quality and refinement.

The MacPherson strut front suspension features an increased castor angle of 4.1 degrees, for enhanced straight-line driving stability, 12% softer springs and longer wheel travel with 20mm shorter bump-stops.

At the rear, the Coupled Torsion Beam Axle is 60% stiffer to reduce under-steer, with 29% softer springs, 15 mm shorter bump-stops and larger trailing-arm bushes for improved stability and a more compliant ride.

The Picanto's all-disc braking system, which is standard on all models fitted with Electronic Stability Control, is backed up with standard ABS anti-lock, electronic brake force distribution and emergency 'brake assist' systems.  Stopping distance from 100 kph (62 mph) is among the class-best at 41.0 metres.

Enhanced safety for occupants and pedestrians

The all-new bodyshell created for the Picanto uses a higher percentage of high-strength steel and incorporates ring-shaped reinforcing loops within the B- and C-pillars, plus additional bracing at the front between the cowl and suspension towers for improved rigidity.

For greater side-impact protection, the B-pillar and side sills are reinforced with high-tensile steel plates, the anti-intrusion door-beams are extended to overlap the B-pillar and polyurethane pads are fitted within the front door trims.

Available safety equipment will include up to six airbags, electronic stability control and hill-start assist.

For additional safety, an Emergency Stop Signal system is standard in Europe.  Sensors detect when the driver is braking suddenly and hard, and then flash the brake lights three times to alert following drivers that the car is slowing rapidly.

Pedestrian safety has also been improved by fitting a new cross-member below the front bumper, creating a deformable cowling ahead of the windscreen and off-setting the hood striker by 50 mm from the car's centre line.

NVH counter-measures include larger hydraulic mountings for the engine and transmission, a triple-layer dashboard bulkhead sound-deadening panel, dual door sealing strips, and two measures to reduce wind noise - sound-blockers within the door mirror mounts and moving the radio antenna towards the rear of the roof.






1.0-litre Bi-fuel






Power output


85 @ 6000 rpm

69 @ 6200 rpm

82 @ 6400 rpm

Torque output


121 @ 4000 rpm

95 @ 3500 rpm

94 @ 3500 rpm

Engine details


Kappa 4-in-line, DOHC, four-cylinder with dual CVVT

Kappa 3-in-line, DOHC three-cylinder with  dual CVVT


Transmission type

Five-speed manual

Five-speed manual

Five-speed manual


Four-speed auto


Suspension, steering and braking

Front axle

Fully independent subframe-mounted MacPherson struts    with coil spring, gas-filled dampers and anti-roll stabiliser bar.

Rear axle

Semi independent CTBA with separate coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers

Braking system

Ventilated front discs 241 x 18 mm, and solid rear discs (234mm x 10mm) with ABS and EBD and ESC


MDPS electric power-assisted, rack-and-pinion, 3.4 turns  lock-lock


13 inch x 4.0B/ 14 inch x 5.0J/ 15 inch x 5.5J


155/70 R13 / 165/60 R14 / 175/50 R15

Dimensions and weights




Overall    l / w / h


3,595 / 1,595 / 1,480

Front / Rear overhang


700 / 510

Front / Rear track


1,421 / 1,424

Head / Leg / Shoulder room front


1,002 / 1,070 / 1,290

Head / Leg / Shoulder room rear


962 / 820 / 1,280

Minimum kerb weight (manual)*





Maximum kerb weight (manual)*





Turning circle



Drag coefficient



Performance and fuel consumption





1.0-litre Bi-fuel

Acceleration (0-100 kph)*





Maximum speed*





Fuel consumption**




47.9 (LPG)


CO2 (with ISG)








Fuel tank capacity




35 LPG /10 petrol

* Figures stated are manufacturer's estimates

** Combined cycle


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