Kia

Kia cars

Geneva Motor Show is still almost two months away, but as usual, we will know nearly everything about it long before the official opening. For example, Kia has unveiled today the first teaser images of a new "provocative and racy new urban concept car" set to be unveiled in Geneva.

The company kept the name a secret, but confirmed the concept will feature the "company’s signature tiger-nose morphing into a mischievous, yet friendly, grille and headlight arrangement, coupled with strong styling lines that exude speed and energy from every angle."

We have also notice lots of carbon fiber used in the front bumper, a new set of wheels and, of course, an overall aggressive presence. Also, we expect this new concept to be a hybrid vehicle, but this is just simple speculation.

Full details on the new concept will be unveiled on March 5th, during the its official debut in Geneva, so stay tuned!

Kia pro_cee'd GT

Just days ago, Kia unveiled the first details on the upcoming pro_cee’d GT and now our spy photographers have caught the car testing for the first time. As you can see the GT is still heavily camouflaged, meaning there is likely very slim chances of seeing it launched before the second half of 2013. The model will be available in five-door and three-door versions.

When compared to a standard pro_cee’d , the GT version will receive different grille, revised headlights and sportier bumpers with LED daytime running lights. On the back end, the car will receive a pair of larger exhaust pipes and it will sit on a set of 18-inch wheels combined with red brake calipers. On the inside, Kia will fit in Recaro seats and aluminum trimming – not too shabby for a company that once produced throw-away econo-boxes.

Pro_cee’d GT will sit atop an updated chassis and will milk power from a 1.6-liter turbocharged GDI engine that delivers a total of 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of twist. If that engine sounds eerily familiar, well, it should; it’s the same 4-pot you’ll find under the Hyundai Hyundai Veloster Turbo’s hood. The engine mates to a six-speed manual gearbox and will sprint the car from 0 to 62 mph in just 7.9 seconds – just about the same 0-to-60 time as its Veloster cousin.

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.


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