After a leak, and then a small batch of official images without any supporting info, Kia is slowly coming to the party with info about its new Sportage medium SUV ahead of its Frankfurt Motor Show Debut.
Frankfurt will play host to the full, official unveiling of the new Sportage. The model is critical to Kia's European success and represents nearly 25% of the brands European sales.
The new generation Sportage will also be the first to feature a GT Line specification, already seen in Europe on the Cee’d hatch, GT Line models offer added visual highlights, but stop short of full performance upgrades.
The dashboard features two ‘zones’ with the upper display zone featuring a central 7.0-inch or 8.0-inch screen (depending on specification), as well as the instrument binnacle, charged with relaying vital informantion to the front seat occupants.
Below that a control zone, tilted 10-degrees towards the driver, contains audio and climate control buttons, and aims to simplify driver control by grouping controls into easy to comprehend clusters.
Single and two-tone interior finishes will be available. Sport-styled features of the GT Line include a flat-bottomed steering wheel, alloy pedals, and piano black dash facia trim.
European engine options include a 1.6 litre GDI (direct-injected) naturally aspirated four-cylinder, producing 97kW and 161Nm, carried over from the current model vehicle.
New to the range is a detumed 1.6 litre turbocharged T-GDI engine from the Pro_Cee’d GT, available exclisively on the Sportage GT Line. With 130kW and 265Nm, this engine also sees duty in Australia in the new Hyundai Tucson.
Diesel offerings for Europe also include an 85kW/280Nm 1.7 litre and two versions of an upgraded 2.0 litre, with either 100kW and 373Nm, or a high output 136kW and 400Nm version.
A seven speed dual-clutch auto will be available with the 1.6 turbo, as well as a six-speed manual. Diesel variants feature a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic, while the 1.6 GDI comes soley with a six-speed manual.
Front wheel drive features on 1.6 GDI and 1.7 litre diesel. A choice of front- or all-wheel-drive is available with 1.6 T-GDI and 2.0 litre diesel manual models, while auto versions of the same come exclusively with all-wheel-drive.
To improve NVH levels on 2.0 litre diesel models, Kia has employed a new timing chain cover with an integrated acoustic shield, a new heat-resistant engine block cover, a sound absorbing DPF cover, and new acoustic shielding for the intercooler pipe.
All engines comply with Euro 6b emissions regulations.
Once again, specific to European customers is a new infotainment system which includes TomTom navigation, seven and eight-inch touchscreen, and 160 watt six-speaker audio. Optional eight-speaker, 320 watt JBL audio is also available as an option.
In a segment first, the new Sportage will also offer wireless charging for compatible mobile devices.
Other options or available features will include a rear-view parking camera with dynamic parking lines, a Smart Power Tailgate, which opens the tailgate automatically when the key is in proximity to the tailgate, Dynamic Bending Headlamps, and a new Smart Welcome function, which turns on interior and door handle lamps and unfolds the door mirrors once the smart key fob comes within 1.3-1.7 metres of the door handle.
Suspension and handling improvements include a carry-over front suspension with revised mounting points, and stiffer wheel bearings and bushings for sharper handling with increased confort.
At the rear, front-wheel-drive models adopt dual lower arm multi-link suspension, while all models gain a stiffer cross member to reduce road noise and vibrations. The wheelbase has been extended by 30mm for improved ride comfort.
GT Line models receive a unique, firmer suspension tune. Rack-mounted power steering on the GT Line replaces the column mounted unit of other models, but can be optioned across the range for more agile steering feel.
Available safety systems include autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, highbeam assist, camera-based speed limit information, blind spot detection with lane change assist, and rear cross traffic alert.
Interior dimensions have grown with 5mm front headroom, 16mm rear headroom, as well as 19mm more front legroom and an extra 7mm rear legroom. On the outside the new model is 40mm longer overall (4480mm) while maintaining the same height (1635mm) and width (1855mm).
While the official unveiling will take place at Franfurt, Australian deliveries are not expected until some time during the first quarter of 2016, with Australian specifications to be reviealed closer to launch.
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