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Kia Telluride

Detroit 2016: Kia Telluride hints at new luxury SUV

Kia TellurideKia has revealed a bold concept called Telluride at the 2016 Detroit Motor Show that it says “suggests styling of a possible future premium large SUV”.

A signal of Kia’s desire to move ever-upmarket, the Telluride could preview a Kia rival to the Audi Q7 or Mercedes-Benz GLS – and certainly has styling bold and striking enough to make an impact.

Kia Telluride

More broadly, it also signals a desire to evolve Kia’s overall design language now the much-heralded Peter Schreyer styling overhaul has run through the full range.

Despite calling it “purely conceptual”, Kia’s surprisingly open on what the Telluride represents: it’s a three-row, seven-seat, full-size SUV that would sit above the existing Sorento (its current range-topper) in the model line.

Fascinatingly, Kia even reveals it’s based upon an existing platform (a stretched version of the current Sorento).

“While there are currently no plans to bring the Telluride to production,” says Kia, it “has a history of delivering production vehicles that bear strong resemblance to preceding concepts, and Kia’s large SUV is anything but a utopian fantasy.”

That makes it pretty much odds-on to us.

Telluride inside

Kia Telluride

It’s unlikely the rear-hinged back doors would make production, but there’s little to suggest the rest of it is not viable. Purposefully bold and upright, the rectangular grille, bulging wheelarches and glassy windows would go down very well in its key U.S. market, we’re certain. After all, it was designed there.

Kia Telluride

Inside, there’s a tech-laden cabin with lots of infotainment screens in the front and a fancy ‘Swipe Command’ touch-sensitive band for the second row: swipe commands control the media played through the high-end Harman Kardon audio system (or Harma Kardon headphones).

And under the massive bonnet? Again a ‘near-future’ PHEV powertrain combining direct-injection 3.5-litre V6 and electric motor: 400hp is made up of 270hp from the engine and 130hp from the motor.

All seems to point quite clearly to a new Kia luxury SUV range-topper coming in a year or so…

Kia teases brash SUV concept ahead of Detroit Motor Show

Kia teases brash Telluride SUV concept ahead of Detroit show

Kia teases brash SUV concept ahead of Detroit Motor Show

Kia has announced that it will unveil a new SUV concept car at next week’s Detroit Auto Show.

The concept – known as the Telluride – hints at a possible future premium SUV in the brand’s line-up – and it could be coming to the UK.

In a statement, Kia said: “Conceived at the automaker’s California design studio, the concept offers an abundance of advanced technology – including state-of-the-art health-and-wellness technology – and takes Kia’s design language in a bold new direction, suggesting styling of a possible future premium large SUV in the brand’s line-up.

“There are currently no plans for this concept to enter immediate production and decisions on which markets may receive a future production version will be made in due course.”

The concept highlights Kia’s first use of 3D-printed components, highlighted by this image of the dashboard, released today. The Telluride concept looks set to feature a minimalist interior, dominated by touchscreens and digital displays. Also note the stylish clock in the centre of climate control unit.

Kia-Telluride-interior

We’ll see the Telluride concept in the metal on January 11, when we’ll be reporting live from Detroit.

Kia Drive Wise

CES 2016: Kia brands autonomous tech Drive Wise

Kia Drive WiseKia is getting into autonomous cars in a big way – and at CES 2016, it’s even announced it’s creating a new sub-brand for the high-tech cars, called Drive Wise.

The umbrella brand for all its Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), Drive Wise will be the brand under which Kia’s planned 2020 partially-autonomous production cars are sold.

By 2030, there will be a fully autonomous Kia Drive Wise self-driving car in showrooms.

The announcement of Drive Wise follow’s Kia’s recent commitment to invest £1.3 billion into driverless cars tech.

At CES 2016, Kia’s showing plenty more of the Drive Wise tech it’s currently developing for launch in the next 15 years. These include:

  • Highly Autonomous Driving – allows a car to auto-drive at high speed and change lanes without driver input
  • Urban Autonomous Driving – self-drives through cities using GPS and road position sensors; can even respond to live traffic reports
  • Preceding Vehicle Following – follows the car in front at a safe distance
  • Emergency Stop System – automatically stops the car if the driver’s eyes stray from the road for too long (if they, say, fall asleep…)
  • Traffic Jam Assist – the car keeps going without crashing and even changes lane to move along faster
  • Autonomous Parking & Out – get out the car and park it by remote control

Tae-Won Lim, SVP, Central Advanced Research and Engineering Institute of Hyundai Motor Group, said, “Kia is undergoing a very promising and gradual process of introducing partially and fully autonomous technologies to its vehicles.

“Although the first marketable fully-autonomous car from Kia will not be available in the immediate future, the work our R&D teams are currently doing to develop our range of Drive wise technologies is already improving on-road safety and driver assistance.”

New Kia Optima on sale from £21,495

Kia Optima UK prices

The all-new Kia Optima is on sale now and if you fancy one you’ll need to part with at least £21,495. That’s more than the entry-level price of the previous Optima, which cost upwards of £18,995.

But all isn’t quite what it seems, because the basic Optima 1 trim level has been deleted, with the Optima 2 now the base model. In total, four models are available, with – for the first time – GT and GT Line options to be added later. Kia is keen to position the new Optima as a more upmarket saloon, hence the deletion of the old base model.

Cutting-edge technologies

The Kia Optima is the first car in its class to offer a wireless charger for mobile devices and also packs a 360-degree Around View Monitor and Smart Park Assist. Autonomous Emergency Braking, Bi-Xenon Dynamic Bending Headlights, High Beam Assist and a wealth of other safety devices are also available.

Combine these with Kia’s acclaimed seven-year warranty and it’s likely more people will take notice of the new Optima. Indeed, Kia is hopeful the Optima will make a big impression in the fleet sector.

The 1.7-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine is more powerful than before, as well as being up to 25% more efficient. In manual form, the diesel-only Optima emits just 110g/km CO2, with the potential to return as much as 67.3mpg. With the new 7DCT dual-clutch automatic transmission, the CO2 emissions figure rises to 116g/km, with fuel economy dropping to 64.2mpg.

On the plus side, the automatic transmission is more efficient than the six-speed torque converter found in the previous Optima. A plug-in hybrid Optima will be added to the range in 2016. Similarly, the GT and GT Line versions will be available next year, but Kia hasn’t confirmed when the long-awaited Optima estate – based on the stunning Sportspace concept – will be launched.

[bctt tweet=”Kia is hopeful the Optima will make a big impression in the fleet sector”]

At launch, three tim levels are available – badged as 2, 3 and 4. The entry-level Optima 2 is manual only, the Optima 3 offers a choice of transmissions, while the Optima 4 is DCT only.

Generous standard spec

Standard spec is generous, with the Optima 2 offering a 7-inch satellite navigation system, reversing camera, steering wheel-mounted controls, dual automatic air conditioning, cruise control, heated folding mirrors, DAB radio, Bluetooth, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights and a host of other features that would shame the conveyor belt on the Generation Game. This is a seriously well-equipped car.

The £23,495 Optima 3 gains a larger navigation screen, electric driver’s seat, heated front seats, xenon dual projection headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, a Harman Kardon premium sound system and a host of exterior and interior upgrades. The DCT transmission adds £1,400 to the price of the Optima 3.

The £28,895 Optima 4 is loaded with safety kit as standard, along with a tilt and slide panoramic roof, bi-xenon headlights, black leather upholstery with ventilated front seats and heated outer rear seats, plus rear window blinds.

Kia is also promising a more rewarding drive than before, with a 50% stiffer body shell that’s also 8.6% lighter than before. It’s fair to say we’re a little bit excited about the new Optima. It has always been a good looking car, but now – on paper at least – it looks like it might have the dynamics and the kit to go with it.

Kia announces £1.3 billion investment in driverless car technology

Kia announces £1.3 billion investment in driverless car technology

Kia announces £1.3 billion investment in driverless car technology

Kia has revealed ambitious plans to develop entirely driverless cars by 2030.

The Korean car company has said it will invest £1.3 billion into the development of the technology by 2018. The first goal will be to introduce partially-autonomous driving technologies, such as a remote parking system that will make a car park itself at the press of a button on the keyfob. Cars with this technology could be on the road by 2020.

Hyundai Group’s vice president, central advanced research and engineering institute, Tae-Won Lim, said: “Fully-autonomous vehicles are still some way off, and a great deal of research and rigorous product testing will need to be carried out to make the ‘self-driving car’ a reality. Kia is still in the early stages of developing its own technologies, and we are confident that the latest innovations – both partially and fully autonomous – will ultimately make driving safer for everyone.”

Smart Kia cars of the future will have a range of technologies focusing on three areas so they can function without a driver.

They will have new sensors so they can detect other vehicles, read the road ahead and identify poor driving conditions. Advanced computing systems will enable the cars to make decisions based on the information gathered by the sensors. And the computers will use their active mechanical and electronic systems to drive the car.

In order to reach this stage Kia will first work on three semi-autonomous systems. Highway Driving Assist will comprise a lane guidance system and smart cruise control. Traffic Jam Assist will take over around town and prevent the vehicle getting too close to the car in front. And, our favourite, the Remote Advanced Parking Assist System, will enable a driver to park their car simply by pressing a button on the keyfob.

Kia Sportage

New Kia Sportage revealed ahead of Frankfurt 2015 debut

Kia SportageKia has revealed the all-new fourth-generation Sportage compact SUV that will be the centrepiece of its stand at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The new Sportage boasts a bolder front end than the current car, with high-mounted headlights now split from the latest Kia grille and extra-large foglamp housings.

On the GT Line-spec launch car, these feature the smart ‘ice cube’ LED lights currently seen on the Kia cee’d GT: looks like they’re going to become a design feature for the brand.

Kia describes the front end as having “a more imposing appearance and a more stable-looking stance”.

Overall dimensions are similar, but the details have been altered: the front overhang is longer, as is the wheelbase, but the rear overhang is shorter.

Other Sportage styling cues from the breakthrough third-generation car remain in tact: the new model has the same strong shape to the rear C-pillar and windowline, and boasts similarly bold black-framed wheelarches.

Kia_Sportage_02

The rear end is cleaner, with a tidier tailgate design, smart slim lamps and a posh chrome bar connecting them together. Kia says it’s been inspired by the controversially-named 2013 Kia Provo concept car.

It’s fitting that the new Sportage will be launched in Frankfurt: Kia’s design studio there has led the design, with input from its designers in Korea and California.

Expect more details in the build-up to the Frankfurt Motor Show ahead of the new Sportage’s public debut there on 15 September.

2016 Kia Sportage teased ahead of Frankfurt debut

2016 Kia Sportage teased ahead of Frankfurt debut

2016 Kia Sportage teased ahead of Frankfurt debut

Kia has released three official sketches previewing the all-new Sportage SUV ahead of its debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show next month.

With design elements from the KX3 concept car, first shown at last year’s Guangzhou Motor Show in China, the new Sportage features a large ‘tiger nose’ grille.

The sketches suggest the new Sportage could be more premium and upmarket than the outgoing model – following in the footsteps of the larger Sorento SUV.

2016 Kia Sportage teased ahead of Frankfurt debut

This theme continues inside, with a large infotainment screen and a reduced number of buttons.

Engines are yet to be confirmed, but expect the usual mix of petrol and diesel powertrains, plus the possibility of an entirely electric version (like the Kia Soul EV).

The current Kia Sportage starts at £17,500, but expect a small increase when the new model goes on sale next year.

In its move upmarket, Kia will be aiming squarely for the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and Ford Kuga.

2016 Kia Sportage teased ahead of Frankfurt debut

Hyundai Kia World Cup

Hyundai 'extremely concerned' about FIFA corruption scandal

Hyundai Kia World CupFootball World Cup sponsor Hyundai Motor has said it is ‘extremely concerned’ following the arrest of senior FIFA officials on corruption charges.

Nine current and former FIFA executives have been arrested and charged in Zurich following arrests on behalf of U.S. authorities.

The charges relate to corruption around the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 football World Cups.

In a statement, lead sponsor Hyundai has said it is “extremely concerned about the legal proceedings being taken against certain FIFA executives and will monitor the situation closely”.

Hyundai Motor joined other World Cup title sponsors in expressing its concern about the FIFA arrests. Coca-Cola said they had “tarnished” the World Cup and Visa expressed its “disappointment”.

Hyundai Kia FIFA World Cup

Hyundai and sister company Kia first became involved with FIFA in 1999, with prominent involvement from the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan. It is a top-tier sponsor of the World Cup and Automotive Official Partner until 2022.

Hyundai supports all FIFA World Cup competitions, including the Confederations Cups, Women’s World Cups, U-20 World Cup and U-17 World Cup.

Hyundai Kia World Cup

Hyundai ‘extremely concerned’ about FIFA corruption scandal

Hyundai Kia World CupFootball World Cup sponsor Hyundai Motor has said it is ‘extremely concerned’ following the arrest of senior FIFA officials on corruption charges.

Nine current and former FIFA executives have been arrested and charged in Zurich following arrests on behalf of U.S. authorities.

The charges relate to corruption around the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 football World Cups.

In a statement, lead sponsor Hyundai has said it is “extremely concerned about the legal proceedings being taken against certain FIFA executives and will monitor the situation closely”.

Hyundai Motor joined other World Cup title sponsors in expressing its concern about the FIFA arrests. Coca-Cola said they had “tarnished” the World Cup and Visa expressed its “disappointment”.

Hyundai Kia FIFA World Cup

Hyundai and sister company Kia first became involved with FIFA in 1999, with prominent involvement from the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan. It is a top-tier sponsor of the World Cup and Automotive Official Partner until 2022.

Hyundai supports all FIFA World Cup competitions, including the Confederations Cups, Women’s World Cups, U-20 World Cup and U-17 World Cup.

New Kia Picanto hits showrooms

New Kia Picanto '1'-65247

Kia’s Picanto city car has received a mid-life facelift, with fresh styling and more standard equipment.

The cosmetic tweaks run to new headlights, bumpers, and alloy wheel designs, while a new trim level, SR7, replaces the outgoing VR7. SR7 versions are exclusively available with bright ‘Honey Bee Yellow’ paint.

Inside, the 2015 Picanto has extra chrome, gloss-black plastics and an upgraded audio system. The SR7 comes with tinted glass and automatic lights, while the range-topping 4 version gains cruise control with a speed limiter.

The familiar 1.0-litre and 1.25-litre petrol engine line-up remains, but both units will be modified to meet Euro 6 emissions regulations – and develop more torque – from this autumn.

The three-cylinder 1.0 engine offers fuel economy of 67.3mpg with (tax-free) CO2 emissions of 99g/km in standard form, or 68.9mpg and 95g/km when fitted with stop-start. However, you’ll need to choose the larger 1.25 engine if you want an automatic gearbox.

All Picantos come with front, side and curtain airbags, plus Kia’s industry-leading seven-year warranty.

The range kicks off at £8,345 for the Picanto 1 1.0 three-door, or £8,545 for the equivalent five-door. The new five-door-only SR7 costs from £10,045.