Kia cars

In the past few years, Kia ’s success on the market has increased significantly with models like the SOUL and the Forte becoming leaders in their segment. Taking this under consideration, it’s no wonder that the Korean manufacturer is expanding their market - which as of now consists of coupes, sedans, crossovers, and SUVs - to include a small roadster. The Kia Roadster - name unknown - will set out to compete against one of the only lower end roadsters on the market: the Mazda MX-5 .

The new Kia Roadster will weigh no more than 2200 lbs and will come with a rear wheel drive system. Engine specifications are not exact, but we should be getting about 200 HP out of a turbo petrol engine. About a year after the Kia debuts, we should also be seeing a Hyundai version of the same vehicle. Think along the lines of the relationship between the Toyota FT-86 and Scion FR-S .

The path has been set, but don’t expect this sporty model to show up anytime before 2013; building a model that will be "fun, dynamic and addressed to young buyers" will surely take some time.

Hit the jump to read more about the future Kia Roadster.

In addition to the Kia Soul Hamster unveiled earlier, Kia has brought another concept from the 2010 SEMA Auto Show to production form: the Soul White Tiger Concept . This new special edition will join not only the Hamster, but also the Denim , Ignition , Shadow Dragon , and Ghost Souls. It will go on sale in late May 2011 at a starting price of $20,695.

The new Kia Soul White Tiger Special Edition will be distinguished by a bright white exterior with gray graphics, color-keyed bumpers, a sporty rear spoiler, 18" black alloy wheels, black fender exits, a rear bumper applique, and door alloy fuel. The interior was not left untouched as it received black leather seats, heated front seats, a leather steering wheel and shift knob, a smart key to press the start button, illuminated sill plates, automatic climate control, and front fog lamps.

It seems Kia is taking the Soul’s popularity to a whole new level with as many special edition models as the public can take. Haven’t they ever heard of too much of a good thing?

Kia ’s highly popular ’Hamster’ campaign drew some rave reviews from a lot of people when it began airing a couple of years ago. It’s become so popular that Kia actually developed a special edition Soul late last year, which it previewed at SEMA last October.

What we didn’t know and what the Korean automaker recently announced is that they’re in the process of releasing a special edition Kia Soul called the ’Hamster Edition’ in the very near future. Details behind the special edition model have yet to be announced, but there have been whispers saying that the Hamster Edition will come with black exterior graphics, a rear spoiler, and a set of 18" alloy wheels outside while its interior will boast of a push-button ignition, automatic climate control, black leather seats, and special edition floor mats commemorating the car’s exclusivity.

It’s very rare that a commercial can be so popular that it leads to a special edition car being built to celebrate it. Kia’s "This or That" ads paved the way for the Soul Hamster Edition, proving that the auto industry won’t hesitate on riding a popular campaign and milking it for all its worth.

Note: Photos are of the 2010 Kia Soul Hamster Concept.

Kia has expanded its Rio line-up with the revealing of a new sedan version at the 2011 New York Auto Show. The new model will go on sale later this fall and will be offered in three trims – LX, EX and SX - all with a 1.6-liter GDI four-cylinder engine.

The 2012 Kia Sedan follows along the same design language as the 2011 Optima and Sportage. The major work will be done inside the vehicle where it will receive a bold and modern cabin, high quality materials, and the latest technologies available on the market.

"The all-new Rio brings Kia’s successful combination of world-class styling, outstanding fuel economy, advanced technologies and tremendous value to the smallest and most economical vehicle in the Kia lineup," said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. "With gas prices rising, sub-compacts are becoming increasingly more popular and with more power, up to 40 miles per gallon fuel economy and stunning design, the all-new Rio sets the standard in the sub-compact class and becomes a vehicle that is not only affordable, but one that people will aspire to own."

Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Kia Rio Sedan.

It didn’t take long for Kia to release a facelift version of the Soul , did it?

After only three model years, the Korean automaker has decided that their K-pop crossover needed a facelift, and so they gave it one, providing the 2012 Soul with all the styling, power, and fuel economy improvements needed to satisfy the vehicle’s growing number of fans.

While the car already looked the part of something eclectic, Kia went the subtle route with their changes, opting to give it improvements that are less about style than they were about substance. This substance is provided with a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 160 horsepower and 143 lb/ft of torque with an improved fuel economy rating of 27 mpg on the city and 33 mpg on the highway.

"The Soul crossover vehicle has always stood out from the crowd and was responsible for bringing new customers to the Kia brand and positioning the company for a series of record-breaking successes," said Michael Sprague, vice president of Marketing & Communications at Kia Motors America.

"With gas prices on the rise, this refresh adds even more style and fun-to-drive performance, while also improving fuel economy by 10 percent."

Details on the Kia Soul after the jump.

Kia has unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show a new sedan model based on the Rio platform. It will be called K2 and was designed and engineered specifically for the Chinese market. Sales will begin this June, and it will be followed by a five-door hatchback later in August.

Speaking at the Kia press conference at the Shanghai Motor Show, Hyoung-Keun Lee, Vice Chairman of Kia Motors, said, "We are confident that this all-new model for China will provide the momentum needed for Kia not only to remain as one of China’s fastest growing automotive brands but also to become a top 10 automaker in the local market in terms of quality and customer satisfaction."

The new K2 sedan takes its inspiration from the popular K5 sedan, or Optima as you might know it, including sophisticated lines that create a dynamic, bold and sophisticated exterior appearance. The Chinese customers will have to choose between a 1.4-liter or 1.6-liter Gamma petrol engine mated to a manual or automatic transmission.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Kia K2 sedan.

Looks like Kia is finally ready to jump into the electric car bandwagon. The Korean automaker used their hometown auto show, the Seoul Motor Show, to release their new electric car concept, the Naimo.

The name is taken from the Korean word ‘Ne-mo’, which translates to ‘square shape’ – not the fish, mind you. Just as the name suggests, the car’s overall look is square enough to look like a box of shoes. Having no B-pillars certainly helps in the boxy design.

Despite the number of ‘box’ connotations, the Naimo’s overall design was actually influenced by Asian Celadon-style pottery, which is meant to exude a design with contrasting shapes and designs. The Naimo’s asymmetrical design is evident in a number of features found in the concept, including the quirky, see-through roof, the lack of a distinguishable front bumper, the square-shaped LED headlamps, and the high-rising rear profile of the concept. Inside, Kia went a little more toned down – and nationalistic - with the design while still sticking with fancy features that are staples in concepts. The Korean automaker made use of Korean oak on the car’s floor and interior door panels and Korean “Han-ji” paper on the headlining.

The Naimo makes use of a Permanent Magnet Synchornous Motor, an electric motor that provides 109 horsepower and about 206 lb/ft f torque. These figures translate to a top speed of 93 mph and lithium-ion battery pack range of 124 miles on one charge. The car also has a quick re-charge system that should reach 80 percent capacity in a little less than half an hour.

Rumors about Kia working on a competitor for the Mazda MX-5 started spinning about six months ago, and we can’t say we’re all that surprised. Considering Kia’s latest sales boom in the market - with theKia Soul and all of its variations, the Kia Forte , and heck, even the Kia Sedona popping up everywhere in its minivan glory - the company is beginning to be as popular as the 2 for 1 sodas at your local gas station. Now the confirmation of the expansion of Kia’s lineup has finally been received in a recent interview with European CEO Paul Philpott.

"I’d like to have a Kia MX-5. 2011 and 2012 are about establishing the brand. But for 2013 and 2014, we’re thinking about halo models that stretch the company forward."

In describing the possible future sports roadster, chief designer Peter Schreyer said that it will get the company’s latest "tiger nose" grille, but will be more aggressive than the current models. We’re thinking something along the lines of the 2003 Kia KCV-III Concept (pictured above). The KCV-III was a 2+2 convertible coupe which debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show. It was designed for the Generation Y consumers and whose edgy and cool design should prove a good starting point for the future model.

Rumors suggest that Mazda will mostly likely be placing a 1.4 liter engine with an output of about 200 HP under the hood. This is the same engine that can be found in the MX-5 , but we have reason to believe that a hybrid version of the Kia roadster is also a strong possibility.

Source: AutoExpress

The fourth generation Kia Rio made its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show and will be put on sale in five-doors version from September with the all-new 3-door model on sale from early 2012. Both versions will be manufactured exclusively at Kia’s Sohari plant in Korea.

Compared to the previous generation the new Rio model is longer by 20 mm, wider by 25 mm, and lower by -15 mm and features a wheelbase extended by 70 mm to 2,570 mm – greatly enhancing passenger space and cargo capacity.

The new Rio will be offered with a choice of four highly efficient three- and four-cylinder engines with power ranging from 70-to-109 HP. When powered by the 109 HP version, the new Rio will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 11.5 seconds and will hit a top speed of 112 mph.

UPDATE 09/26/2011: Kia has announced that the all new Rio will go on sale with prices starting from under $14,000. On the US market, prices for the all new Rio will start from $13,600 for the 5-door manual version, $14,700 for the 5-door A/T and will go up to $18,000 for the top of the line SX.

Hit the jump to read more the 2012 Kia Rio.

Kia has added a new trim level to their successful Sportage line-up. It’s called the SX Turbo and is powered by a Theta II 2.0-liter Turbo GDI engine with an output of 256 HP. These figures make it the most powerful model in the line-up. Next to the impressive engine, the SX version will also get distinctive features on both the exterior and interior.

"Sportage offers an ideal mix of performance, fuel efficiency and utility for the discriminating compact CUV buyer," said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. "With the addition of a more powerful Turbo GDI engine, unique interior appointments and improved performance, the Sportage SX makes an already appealing CUV even more fun to drive."

The new Kia Sportage SX will go on sale later this month, with prices starting from $25,7952 for the FWD version and at $27,2952 for the AWD version.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2011 Kia Sportage SX Turbo.

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