Thursday, October 24, 2019
Running in the Passing Lane
Kia unveiled sleek new models after enjoying cool running in the market in 2009
Running in the Passing Lane
  • By matthew
  • March 15, 2010, 14:37
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To celebrate the world premiere of the all-new Kia Sportage at the 80th Salon International de l'Auto in Geneva, Kia Motors Corporation displayed three examples of its latest crossover vehicle in Switzerland.

The all-new Sportage headed an impressive Kia line-up at the auto show, where Kia is also placing major focus on its environmentally-friendly 'EcoDynamics' sub-brand with the world premiere of the electric-powered Venga EV concept and the European debut of the Kia Ray 'plug-in' hybrid sedan concept car.

With a new body shell, new engines and fresh, bold styling that introduces a new kind of dynamic aesthetic, the latest Kia Sportage is an urban-friendly crossover for today's families - consuming less fuel and emitting less CO2.

Longer, wider and lower than the previous model, the all-new design successfully retains the key SUV features which made the second generation Kia Sportage so popular.

Under the direction of 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.

The 4.4-metre long new Sportage is sleeker and lighter than the previous model, with an aerodynamic drag figure of Cd 0.37 (down from 0.40) and a significant weight loss of 91 kg compared with the previous model - enhancing fuel economy and refinement.

When the full range of new Sportage models is 'on sale' in Europe later this year, it will be available (depending on country) with four engines (two petrol and two diesel, covering a 115 ps to 163 ps power spread), 6-speed manual and automatic transmissions and two-wheel or all-wheel drive. In Europe, fuel-stretching Start/Stop technology will reduce CO2 emissions to as low as 138 g/km.

Making its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show, the all-electric, zero-emissions Kia Venga EV concept car is the same size as the regular Venga B-segment MPV now on sale in Europe. It features an electric motor with top power of 80 kW and maximum torque of 280 Nm.

Showcasing Kia's 'EcoDynamics' range of fuel-saving vehicles at Geneva, Venga EV includes a twin-pack 24 kWh battery using innovative LiPoly (Lithium Ion Polymer) technology that offers numerous advantages over other battery types, and provides a driving range of 180 km on a single charge. Under the quick recharging cycle (50 kW), the battery can be recharged to 80 percent of its capacity within 20 minutes. Under the normal cycle (3.3 kW), 100 percent power is attained after eight hours.

Venga EV is a front-wheel drive vehicle with the electric powertrain placed within the existing engine bay, while the battery pack is located under the trunk floor. Venga EV is capable of accelerating from standstill to 100 kph in 11.8 seconds, and reaching a top speed of 140 kph.

Venga EV represents Kia Motors' continuing commitment to earth-positive transport management and will mark a new beginning in the company's supply of eco-friendly vehicles.

After making its world premiere at the recent Chicago Auto Show, the 4.4-metre long Kia Ray concept car also made its European debut at the Geneva Show. This ultra-sleek, plug-in hybrid four-door sedan can run for more than 80 km (50 miles) solely on electric power and achieve a range of 1,200 kilometres (746 miles) on a single tank of fuel, thanks to fuel economy of 1.398 l/100km (202 mpg).

Styled in California, the Kia Ray concept has a futuristic body, which combines sophisticated and sleek lines with functionality and improved fuel economy, and features innovative curved hexagonal roof-top solar cells which provide a trickle charge that helps operate a cooling fan to reduce cabin temperatures when the vehicle is parked.

Clean, flush surfaces, a flowing hood and roof profile, pronounced rear shoulders ending in a higher trunk lid, and careful attention to detailing combine to reduce the Ray's drag figure to just Cd 0.25.

Under the bonnet, Kia's plug-in hybrid powertrain features a 1.4-litre Gamma enine fitted with GDI (gasoline direct injection) technology and tuned to produce 115 ps. A 78 kW electric motor is mounted between the engine and transmission, boosting combined power to a maximum of 153 ps. The Kia Ray is tuned to reach a top speed of 175 kph.

Meanwhile, Kia Motors Corporation, a sister company of Hyundai Motor, announced its global sales figures for passenger cars (export sales, domestic sales and sales from overseas plants), recreational vehicles (RVs) and commercial vehicles for 2009 which reached an all-time high of 1,651,920 units, cementing Kia's position as one of the world's fasting growing automakers. This figure represents a y-o-y increase of 20.1%.

By region, Kia posted year-on-year sales increases in China (256,732 units sold, a 69.9% y-o-y increase), Korea (412,752 units sold, a 30.4% y-o-y increase), general markets (304,522 units, a 16.2% y-o-y increase), North America (346,181 units, an 11.3% y-o-y increase) and Western Europe (242,288 units, a 7.7% y-o-y increase).

For December 2009, significant double digit sales growth was achieved in China (35,010 units sold, a 107.0% y-o-y increase), Korea (46,523 units sold, a 69.1% y-o-y increase), North America (23,693 units sold, a 45.5% y-o-y increase), Europe* (28,073 units sold, a 40.6% y-o-y increase) and general markets (29,417 units sold, a 31.4% y-o-y increase).

Kia's best selling model in overseas markets in 2009 was the C-segment Cerato (known as 'Spectra' or 'Forte' in some markets) with 304,295 units sold. Kia's B-segment Rio and Sportage compact SUV's competed for second position with 177,299 and 172,296 units sold, respectively. The C-segment cee'd was fourth with 124,389 units sold, and the Picanto fifth with 100,355 units.

In terms of vehicle category sold overseas, Kia's passenger and recreational vehicles achieved y-o-y increases in 2009 of 16.6% (776,352 units) and 19.7% (428,512 units), respectively.