Kia

Kia cars

Kia’s lineup of debuts at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show offers plenty of revisions from previous model years. None of the unveilings venture more from their previous renditions than the 2014 Sorento .

The obvious choice for most drastic upgrade is the installation of a new 3.3-liter V-6 engine that produces an stout numbers that put it in favorable light compared to most of its rivals.

Aesthetically, the Kia crossover also received plenty of visual upgrades, highlighted by a modified front and rear fascia, a new grille, and the option of fitting up to 19-inch wheels. There’s a lot to like about the new Sorento, although there are parts of it that we weren’t too excited about.

Either way, it’s obvious that Kia went to great lengths to give the Sorento significant improvements. In the words of Michael Sprague, executive vice president, marketing and communications of Kia Motors America: "With more than 80 percent of the 2014 Sorento including new or significantly redesigned parts, it’s obvious that the improvements are not just skin deep; including technological enhancements such as UVO eServices, the next generation of our voice activated telematics system, and Kia’s first-ever blind spot detection system.2"

Find out the latest digs on the new 2014 Sorento after the jump

Compared to his Justice League contemporaries, Cyborg is without question the least recognizable superhero among the five that were used as inspirations on the Kia -DC collaboration that are being displayed at SEMA . Despite not having movies like Batman and Green Lantern, or not having stand-alone cartoons like Flash and Aquaman, Kia and DC Entertainment, together with RIDES Magazine, still gave the half human/half machine superhero for the modern ages an appropriate tribute.

Using the Kia Forte 5-Door as the platform, RIDES Magazine began the project by using an Aztec Silver paint job on the body of the car, a testament to the shiny chrome digs of Cyborg’s actual armor. Red LED lights were also installed into the newly added side ports because, you know, one of Cyborg’s eyes is red. Other exterior elements include a vented air scoop on the hood, a new set of 18" Rotiform TMB wheels with a chrome lip and red anodized bolts, a coil over suspension to give the Forte more aggressive maneuverability, and widened custom metal fenders that alludes to Cyborg’s ability to mechanically morph to face any adversary.

Inside, red perforated leather and red suede are visibly present throughout the cabin. The Cyborg emblem likewise features red and silver trim highlights, which is also visibly featured in the Forte’s interior design. There’s also a tablet on the center console because like Cyborg, this Forte 5-Door is always connected and ready to spring into action. The final touch inside the Forte is the JL Audio sound system.

It’s not exactly the Justice League swooping down to the 2012 SEMA Auto Show to save us from tyrannical custom vehicles, but these DC superhero-inspired Kia models are pretty cool in their own right.

As a joint collaboration between Kia, DC Entertainment, and West Coast Customs, the Kia Rio 5-Door was one of the models treated to a superhero make-over to promote DC’s "We Can Be Heroes" campaign. To no one’s surprise, the eco-friendly Rio became the ultimate alter-ego of DC’s resident environment guardian, Aquaman.

The Aquaman-inspired Rio 5-door received the hero’s famous gold, green, and orange exterior colors to go with a body kit that incredibly includes custom-fabricated fins. Body lighting across the exterior are also part of the program, as are Oracle LED wheel rings and a new set of 20" color-matched Asanti wheels wrapped in Continental tires.

Inside, the Aquaman theme continues with the reupholstered seats dressed in green leather with yellow and gold accents. Green suede was also used on the headliner while the back seats bear Aquaman’s logo stitched into it. Open up the trunk of the Rio and watch as it pops up like an underwater treasure chest where you’ll find Aquaman comic-book art with a polycast cutout and surrounded with Oracle LED lighting. Last, but certainly not least, a pair of 7" Rosen Entertainment monitors have also been installed, as well as a 12" subwoofer with two coaxial component speakers and amps.

While other automakers are taking the traditional route of developing tuning programs for a number of their models to be shown at the 2012 SEMA Auto Show, Kia is taking a route that touches the comic book geeks in all of us.

The Korean automaker is partnering with DC Entertainment to build a number of superhero-inspired vehicles in the former’s model line-up. We’ve already seen what they did with the "Batman" Optima and we’ve also been treated to a teaser photo of the "Flash" Forte Koup. Today, Kia dropped another one of their teasers involving the Soul crossover and the superhero it’s been dressed to feature: the Green Lantern.

We weren’t surprised that the Soul Green Lantern was finished with a two-tone green and black paint scheme and the green mirror-chrome tint on the windows because these are the colors of the Emerald Crusader. What was surprising about this car is that the two back doors have been welded shut to "streamline" the crossover’s appearance. Then, there are the green projector beam headlights, a feature that we admit we find pretty sick. Add the customized Green Lantern-logo fog lights in the widened front fascia, green LED lighting, and 18" deep-dish wheels with Green Lantern’s logo on the center and that completes the Soul’s exterior superhero makeover.

Inside, a custom rear cargo compartment features the Green Lantern power battery with his signature lantern logo etched into a clear panel displaying the superhero’s oath lit by LEDs. Over at the rear deck, there’s a video monitor that displays DC’s "We Can Be Heroes" promotional video. At the front, the car’s steering wheel and the front seats have been fitted with green and black leather and the Green Lantern logo prominently displayed and stitched into the seat backs.

Like the rest of its kind, the Soul "Green Lantern" Edition was built to raise awareness for the We Can Be Heroes campaign against hunger in the Horn of Africa, for which DC Entertainment is a huge advocate of.

Hyundai Genesis Coupe

When Hyundai and Kia strapped some boost to a 2.0-liter engine and bumped its output to over 270 horsepower , we took notice. Hyundai then released the all-new 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and we thought, “What’s going on here?” Now Hyundai and Kia are working on yet another turbocharged engine and it’s likely to turn heads and twist faces.

According to reports, at Hyundai-Kia’s International Powertrain Conference, the automakers confirmed that they are currently working on a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine. The likely recipient of this new boosted V-6 engine is the next-generation Genesis .

This engine is expected to feature direct fuel injection and at least 350 ponies. With the combination of a turbocharger, direct fuel injection, and other creative engineering, Hyundai Hyundai -Kia expects this engine to get somewhere in the 33 mpg range. We’re not too sure which Genesis Hyundai is talking about, but we assume this would see use in the coupe model.

The existing Genesis 3.8 R-Spec uses a 3.8-liter V-6 that produces 348 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. With turbos being as effective as they are now, we would expect to see torque nearing 350 pound-feet at super-low rpm – maybe sub-2,000. That would make the Genesis quite the screamer. Given its existing 5.3-second sprint to 60 mph, we would anticipate that to drop near the 4.5-second range with the added horsepower and torque.

For now, this is all speculation and we don’t expect to see the next-gen Genesis Coupe until at least the 2016 model year, maybe even later. If Hyundai is planning on this engine going into the Genesis sedan , we could see it as early as 2014. That would be very upsetting to see this engine wasted in the sedan’s body…

Kia’s partnership with DC Entertainment to raise awareness for the latter’s We Can Be Heroes campaign against hunger in the Horn of Africa apparently extends further than the recent Optima "Batmobile" we saw a week ago.

Turns out, the Korean automaker has another superhero-inspired model headed to the 2012 SEMA Auto Show . Together with the fellas over at West Coast Customs, Kia brought the Forte Koup "Flash" at Las Vegas.

Considering that there’s no car in the automaker’s entire line-up that can really give justice to The Flash and his lightning speed super powers, we’re not going to hold it against Kia. After all, the Forte Koup Flash actually looks sizzling. The red, orange, and yellow airbrushed exterior color is a trademark of Flash’s costume. The hood also bears the iconic Flash logo with a cutout right in the middle, allowing everybody to see the kind of engine this bad boy packs. A custom coil over suspension was also added, effectively improving the Forte Koup Flash’s handling while a new set of 20" Asanti color-matched wheels wrapped in Continental Extreme Contact tires.

Inside, the Forte Koup Flash’s seats have been reupholstered in black nappa leather with contrasting red suede and yellow stitching. Character artwork has also been embroidered into the seats. Likewise, the headliner also gets black suede upholstery with custom stitching and custom-painted pieces. West Coast Customs also installed two, 10" sub woofers and two sets of coaxial component speakers with a Quart four-channel amp. Finally, a pair of 7" Rosen Entertainment monitors plays a "We Can Be Heroes" campaign video in the front headrests.

Kia has teamed up with DC Entertainment and Rides magazine to create a one-off version of the 2013 Optima that is inspired by the DC Comic “Batman.” This creation is slated to be part of a benefit dubbed the “We Can Be Heroes” campaign, which helps fight hunger in the Horn of Africa. The benefit itself is a great cause, but the car is simply awesome.

Kia started off with the range-topping Optima SX, which boasts a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that pops out 274 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and an impressive 269 pound-feet at torque at an ultra-low 1,750 rpm. This is enough to get this sedan to 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds, but still turn in a 22 mpg city and 34 mpg highway EPA fuel economy rating.

Though there are no engine modifications, sans the performance exhaust system, to this Kia turned Batmobile, it does boast a lowered coil-over suspension to help it in the twist and Ksport performance brakes to grind it to a halt a little quicker. On the exterior, Kia draped the Optima in a matte- and piano-black color combination and tossed in a set of 20-inch black wheels wrapped in low-profile rubber. Kia also modified its trademark grille to look like the batman logo and even placed the batman logo in place of the “Kia” logo in the center of the grille. Wrapping up the exterior are yellow LED lights underneath the vehicle and the bat signal etched into the HID headlights.

Inside the Optima, Kia wrapped the interior in custom black leather and suede with yellow accent stitching to maintain the Batman theme. You even get a “Bat suit” in the trunk and a set of throwing stars in the center console. Two video screens on the front headrests cap of the interior and will be playing a video during the campaign that will showcase how people can get involved with the “We Can Be Heroes” project.

Our hats go off to Kia for building such an awesome car for just an awesome cause.

Click past the jump to read Kia’s press release.

The Kia Picanto is not a model you’ll find zipping through the streets of the U.S., but it has been a relative hit in developing markets, thanks to its low price, and even in the U.K., thanks to its stellar gas mileage. In the 2013 model year, Kia is releasing a series of “Originals” 3-door collection.

The most recent addition to this new collection of 3-door Kias is the all-new Picanto City. This model is, from the outward appearance, almost identical to any 3-door Picanto you’ll see frolicking through the streets of the U.K., but under the hood, in the wallet, and at the pump, it is much different than you would expect.

The U.K. super-mini segment is already overcrowded, so how well can Kia expect to do with this ultra-economic super-mini car?

Click past the jump to read our full review on the 2013 Kia Picanto City and find out how well it stacks up to the growing list of super-minis in the U.K.

We understand all too well that companies tend to change things up just for the sake of change in some cases. We see it every year in the automotive world. Fortunately, in our world, this typically doesn’t affect you all too much if you had a car just before a drastic and utterly meaningless upgrade occurred. You just keep on motoring.

Well, when it comes to some electronics, these changes can spell disaster if you are not well informed and prepared. Case in point is the new iPhone 5, which iFolk are iTrading their iPhone 4s like iHotcakes to get their iHands on, but there is a problem that they may run into when trying to dock up their flashy new iPhone 5 to their iPhone-ready car… The new “Lightning” interface connector will not connect, even if you just snagged up a 2013 model year.

The only way to rectify this issue is to go to the store and pick up $29 (Apple licensed) adapters for your car and the other numerous doo-dads that you hook it up to. Additionally, for those that have ever tried using cellphone adapters of any sort, please think of the last one you bought – licensed or not – that actually worked the way it was supposed to. Not too often, huh?

So this may, create a small tizzy in the automotive industry, as owners may take to the dealerships up in arms as to why the car companies had no idea that the iPhone 5 would not fit their massive 30-pin receptacle. This could result in automakers like Kia , Hyundai , Audi , and VW , all of which have the old-style iPhone connector, having to offer all of its new-car buyers these adapters – possibly free of charge to avoid legal issues.

This just shows how something as little as a change in the connector for seemingly no reason at all can lead to serious headaches for your customers. Apple really should have included the adapter with the iPhone 5 and very well may decide to retroactively do so in the future, if the issue becomes too big.

Kia is teasing us with their new generation Carens , but today at the Paris Auto Show the model has finally made its official debut. However, customers interested in buying one will have to wait until spring 2013 because this is when the model will be put on sale.

The third generation Carens is new from the ground up and Kia hopes to attract new buyers with an all-new platform, it delivers stylish, spacious practicality, with sleek aerodynamics, a cab-forward design, long wheelbase and up to seven seats.

"The new Carens builds on the family-friendly versatility and functionality of its predecessor, and features more athletic and visually dynamic design," says Hyoung-Keun Lee, Vice Chairman and CEO, Kia Motors Corporation. "This marks a dramatic shift forward for our MPV contender and brings the model in line with Kia’s distinctive current design direction."

Updated 09/27/2012: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Kia Carens.


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