Despite having only been offered in Australia for a short time, the current Kia Picanto city car is nearing the end of its production cycle, with a new model set to take its place in 2017.
The third generation Picanto looks to follow the lead of the outgoing model with wheel-at-each-corner proportions and tailgate-hugging C-shaped rear lights, while also adopting elements from the larger Kia Rio and Kia Soul.
Preview sketches reveal a sporting flavour featuring red accents in the low bumper intakes and side sills while the new Rio’s combined grille-to-headlight outline and U-shaped projector headlamps sit above a Soul-inspired central air intake flanked at the lower corners by circular foglights.
Inside, the dash design features a tablet-like central touchscreen and a wide horizontal aluminium-look spear to increase the feeling of spaciousness, with a sporty three-spoke steering wheel and coloured door trim accents giving the preview rendering a sporting vibe.
Kia is yet to confirm which engine options will arrive with the new Picanto, but the company's 1.0-litre three-cylinder and 1.2 litre four-cylinder engines are the most likely fit, with a choice of manual or automatic transmissions. However Kia Australia may once again stick with an auto-only range as per the current generation.
Despite the early pre-release teaser, Kia is unlikely to show the Picanto at the coming Detroit Auto Show in January with Kia’s smallest US offering being the Rio. Instead, it would seem likely that March’s Geneva Motor Show is a more appropriate event for a full reveal to take place, with the Picanto playing an important role in Kia’s European line-up.
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