KIA MOTORS has released a handful of images of the new Euro-market cee'd five-door hatch, a month ahead of the car's official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Kia's new corporate face has been grafted onto the c'eed's nose, with the now-familiar chrome-edged 'dogbone' grille taking pride of place. Headlight clusters are redesigned as well, and the foglamps are housed in sharp-looking rectangular recess.
Interior quality will be improved by a new centre console, steering wheel, gear lever, instrument lighting and dual-zone climate control.
The cee'd's diesel engine has come in for a number of revisions. The current 2.0 litre turbodiesel is to be replaced by a 1.6 litre unit, which will be fitted with Kia's fuel-saving Intelligent Stop and Go start-stop system. A hill-hold mechanism will also be standard for manual-transmission models.
Like the current model, the 2010 cee'd will continue to share its platform with the Hyundai i30. However, while the i30 has proven to be a strong seller for Hyundai in Australia, there are presently no plans to bring the cee'd to this country.
The cost to ship the Slokavian-built cee'd to Australia is presently too prohibitive, and would put the Kia's retail price $1000 above that of an equivalent i30 model. Kia Australia would like to see a C-segment hatch in its line-up, but the business case for the cee'd is still too weak.
"At this stage we don't have the option of bringing cee'd here," Kia Motors Australia spokesman Jonathan Fletcher said to TMR.
"Would we like to have cee'd? If we were able to bring it here at a competitive price in the right volume and the right specification to be truly competitive, we'd certainly like the opportunity."
A more realistic option is a five-door variant of the Cerato sedan, which would be built in Asia and be a more financially viable option for Kia Australia.
"Would we like to have a Cerato hatch launched here? Well, given we had a Cerato hatch in the previous generation and the Australian market is roughly 50-50 sedan-hatch, we'd obviously be interested in seeing a hatch version of Cerato come," Mr Fletcher said.
"There has been talk of a five-door [Cerato] hatch, but at this stage I've not seen anything that says yes, it will come."
"If it does, it definitely won't be this year."