Spied: 2012 Kia Picanto

Kia’s hoping its new supermini is the Pic of the bunch! Our spy photographer caught this mule on test near the firm’s European R&D headquarters in Russelsheim, Germany, undergoing testing ahead of its launch next year.

And while the Picanto is wearing a substantial disguise, the newcomer’s proportions are notably similar to the car it replaces. But the all-new car’s boxy shape has been given a serious injection of style by design boss Peter Schreyer and his team.

At the front, swept back headlights and the familiar tiger’s snout chrome grille are visible, while the current car’s kinked shoulderline is replaced with a steeply rising one, giving the Picanto a more sporty profile.

The car pictured here has five doors, and is likely to be offered in that bodystyle at launch, but Kia is currently evaluating whether to build an even cheaper three-door version.

Expect the Picanto to feature a similarly impressive interior, with a practical yet stylish design that echoes the recently-launched Sportage. And just like the SUV, which majors on value for money, the Picanto will be packed with kit like air conditioning, electric windows and an MP3-compatible stereo.

Under the bonnet, the Kia will get the same all-new 1.0-litre petrol engine that emits 99g/km of carbon dioxide, which will debut at Paris in the 2011 model year Hyundai i10. The Picanto uses the same platform as its Hyundai sister car.

The new Picanto will make its global debut at the Geneva Motor Show next March. Prices are likely to remain highly competitive, with entry-level versions costing around £7,000 when it go on sale in the UK early next summer. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express


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