First Look: Kia Picanto

The first official photos of Kia’s redesigned and re-engineered Picanto have just hit the Web. Smaller than the Rio, the Picanto is the Korean automaker’s micro-car segment fighter in the rest of the world. Set for a debut in March at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, could it be on its way to the North American Market?

The styling of the diminutive hatchback is described as more mature and self-confident than before. Or as Kia’s Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer puts it, “In profile, the new Picanto features significant sculpting and a very prominent rising character line. The result is a layering of light and shadow and this breaks up the height, giving the car a more sure-footed stance.”

The new Picanto will be powered by four different variations of 1 and 1.2-liter gas, diesel, bi-fuel and flex-fuel engines. While we don’t expect huge performance numbers from these thumpers, class leading emissions numbers are likely. The new Picanto will still be available in a five-door model, with Kia adding a three-door for the European crowd shortly.

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