KIA Motors has unveiled its latest models at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show. Taking centre stage, the new KIA Ceed and Ceed Sportswagon make their world debuts, alongside the upgraded Optima range, and new Rio GT Line.
The new KIA Ceed and Ceed Sportswagon
The third-generation Ceed and Ceed Sportswagon are designed, developed, engineered and built in Europe. Available later this year as a five-door hatchback and Sportswagon, the new Ceed model family strengthens KIA’s presence in the European C-segment with innovative new technologies, a mature and athletic design, and a more engaging drive.
Since the first-generation KIA cee’d started production in Slovakia in December 2006, more than 1,28 million units have been built. A new naming format – cee’d becomes Ceed – consolidates its reputation as a car for the Community of Europe, with European Design. More than 640,000 units of the second-generation model have been built since 2012. In its third iteration, the new Ceed will account for an even greater proportion of KIA’s European sales – up from 15% in 2017.
The new Ceed is lower and wider than its predecessor, and boasts a striking, contemporary new design. Standard ‘ice cube’ LED daytime running lights echo the appearance of earlier Ceed GT and GT Line models. In profile, the sharp, straight lines visually lengthen the bonnet and give the car a more upright stance. At the rear, new LED daytime running lights give the Ceed greater visibility – and recognition – on the road. Straight lines in the bodywork and a subtle rear boot spoiler add stability to the Ceed’s overall presence.
The Ceed Sportswagon’s tourer shape ensures cargo capacity grows to 600 litres, more than many D-segment tourers. The Ceed is also among the most practical C-segment hatchbacks, offering 395 litres of cargo space.
The Ceed and Ceed Sportswagon will be powered by a wide choice of powertrains to meet diverse buyer needs. European buyers can choose between three petrol engines. KIA’s popular 1.0-litre T-GDi (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) engine, producing 88kW; a new 1.4-litre T-GDi power unit, producing 103kW; or a 74kW 1.4-litre MPi (multi-point injection) engine.
The new Ceed range is also available with KIA’s all-new ‘U3’ diesel engine. Designed to go beyond the stricter limits laid down by the latest Euro 6d TEMP emissions standard, the new ‘U3’ 1.6-litre CRDi (common-rail direct injection) uses Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) active emissions control technology to significantly reduce emissions. Available with a choice of power outputs (85 kW and 100kW), the new 1.6-litre diesel produces 280 Nm of torque.
A Drive Mode Select system enables owners to tailor engine and steering characteristics with Normal or Sport modes. Every engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission, while 1.4-litre T-GDi and 1.6-litre CRDi engines are also available with KIA’s seven-speed double-clutch transmission.
The Ceed is available with KIA’s latest Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) including a new Driver Attention Warning (DAW) system which combats distracted or drowsy driving by monitoring a number of inputs from the vehicle and driver. Other ADAS features include High Beam Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Forward Collision Warning with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist.
The new Ceed hatchback will go on sale across Europe at the end of Q2 2018, while Sportswagon models will be available during Q4.
Upgraded Optima: updated interior and exterior design and new powertrains
The upgraded Optima makes its world debut at the Geneva International Motor Show, featuring an updated design and a pair of new engines. More KIA Optima models were sold in Europe in 2017 than in any previous year, with sales growing from 9,600 to 16,800 units – aided by the introduction of new Sportswagon, Plug-in Hybrid and GT variants.
The upgraded Optima sedan and Sportswagon offer two new powertrain options. KIA’s all-new ‘U3’ 1.6-litre CRDi diesel engine, producing 100kW and 320 Nm of torque, replaces the earlier 1.7-litre CRDi engine. A new 1.6-litre T-GDi engine, producing 132kW, is also available, sitting between the naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre (120kW) engine and the Optima GT’s 2.0-litre T-GDi power unit (180kW). The new engine is paired with KIA’s seven-speed double-clutch transmission.
Exterior design modifications include revised bumper designs, new LED tail-lamps and a revised head- and fog lamp design. The ‘tiger-nose’ grille is now finished in bright chrome to create a more sophisticated, purposeful appearance. The designs of the Optima GT Line and high-performance Optima GT are also updated for greater on-road presence. Upgrades include new LED fog lamps, 18-inch aluminium alloy wheel designs, and subtle gloss black mirror caps, side sills and air intake grille. GT Line models are distinguished by new dual twin exhausts, while the Optima GT is fitted with chrome twin exhaust tips.
The Optima is available with KIA’s latest 7.0- or 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, with navigation and KIA Connected Services powered by TomTom®. The system offers Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™.
KIA’s latest ADAS are also available, to avoid or mitigate the effects of collisions. The new Optima comes with same Driver Attention Warning (DAW) system available in the new Ceed, as well as other safety features including: Forward Collision-avoidance Assist (FCA), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA); High Beam Assist (HBA), and full LED headlamps with Dynamic Bending Light.
The upgraded Optima sedan and Sportswagon will be available in Europe from Q3 2018.
New sport-inspired Rio GT Line
KIA is also exhibiting the Rio GT Line for the first time today – the latest KIA model to be available in GT Line specification. Like other GT Line models in the KIA line-up, the Rio GT Line features a stylish exterior design. Upgrades include a gloss-black and chrome ‘tiger-nose’ grille, a new 17-inch alloy wheel design, and ‘ice cube’ LED fog lamps, echoing those of the cee’d GT and pro_cee’d GT. The exterior is finished with twin exhaust tips, LED daytime running lights, chrome window trim, a gloss black roof spoiler and sill highlights.
The Rio GT Line is powered by KIA’s lightweight 1.0-litre T-GDi engine, with either 74kW or 88kW, and a manual transmission. In Q3 2018, the 88kW 1.0-litre T-GDi engine will be available with a seven-speed double-clutch transmission, while 1.2- and 1.4-litre petrol engines will also be available in GT Line specification.
The optional large 7.0-inch ‘floating’ touchscreen HMI (human-machine interface) includes navigation, and Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™. A rear-view parking camera, heated steering wheel, and heated seats are also available.
The new Rio is the safest B-segment car KIA has ever made, featuring an Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS)-body construction and six airbags fitted as standard (front, front side, and curtain). With a five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating when fitted with optional ADAS technology, the Rio offers Forward Collision-avoidance Assist (FCA) with pedestrian recognition. Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) will also be available to buyers from Q3 2018. The Rio GT Line is also available with KIA’s new Driver Attention Warning (DAW) system, designed to combat distracted or drowsy drivers.
With one of the most spacious cabins in its class, the Rio also features a split-level boot floor, enabling owners to change its height to fit items under the floor and prevent them rolling around, or to keep them out of sight. Luggage capacity is 325 litres (VDA).
The new Rio GT Line will be on sale across Europe from the end of Q1 2018.
Volvo and Uber get closer to self-driving XC90
Volvo Cars’ first autonomous drive (AD) ready car has entered the next stage of pre-series production at Volvo’s manufacturing plant in Torslanda, Sweden ahead of full production start later this year. The AD-ready XC90 SUV, developed together with Uber, the leading ride-hailing firm, marks a key milestone in the strategic collaboration between the two companies.
Pre series production refers to the stage in the manufacturing process that is undertaken before full-fledged mass scale production. These cars are built in limited numbers for testing and verification purposes.
Uber and Volvo Cars entered a joint engineering agreement in 2016 and have since developed several prototypes aimed at accelerating the companies’ self-driving car development.
The autonomous drive-capable production vehicle is part of Volvo Cars’ 2016 commercial agreement with Uber for the delivery of tens of thousands of autonomous drive-ready base cars in coming years.
The AD-ready XC90 SUV, developed on the SPA2 modular platform is equipped with features that facilitate the introduction of autonomous drive systems and robotaxi services. In particular, the car is equipped with back-up systems for functions such as steering, braking and the battery. If any of the primary systems fail, these systems would immediately act to bring the car to a safe stop instead of relying on a human driver to achieve the task.
The XC90 is one of the first autonomous drive-ready cars in the world and previews the type of autonomous base platform that will be available to consumers on SPA2 cars from the early 2020s.
Maserati goes ‘e’
In line with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ €5 billion investment program for Italy, Maserati has announces an innovation plan for production, electrification and autonomous driving technologies.
With regards to production, Maserati has announced plans for a lineup of new and electrified products at Modena, Cassino and Turin (Mirafiori and Grugliasco).
All of Maserati’s new models will be 100 percent made in Italy and will adopt hybrid and battery electric propulsion systems capable of providing both innovation and the high performance embedded in the brand’s DNA. Maserati’s all electric models will combine traditional Maserati driving dynamics together with next-generation battery electric technology, offering unique driving modes, extended range and ultra-fast charging capabilities.
An important step for Maserati innovation is the level of autonomous driving. All new Maseratis, including the updated current models, will offer a range of autonomous driving capabilities, starting with Maserati Level 2 enhanced Highway Assist, progressing to Level 3 with hands-off offering close to full autonomy, having the ability to maneuver in and out of lanes or bring the vehicle to a safe stop at the side of the road if the driver is unable to take control of the vehicle.
In 2020, the Company will embark on electrification and the Maserati Ghibli, produced in Turin, will be the first hybrid electric propulsion for the brand.
The first of the totally new Maseratis to appear will be an eagerly-anticipated sports car – packed with technology and reminescent of Maserati’s traditional values. It will be produced in the Modena plant, where major production line upgrades are also underway to accommodate its electric powertrain.
Next up will be a new Maserati utility vehicle, set to be built at Cassino and destined to play a leading role for the Brand thanks to its innovative technologies. An investment of approximately €800 million has been earmarked for the construction of the new production line, scheduled to open at the end of the first quarter of 2020. The first pre-series cars are expected to roll off the line by 2021.
After many years of success, GranTurismo and GranCabrio remain part of the Brand’s roots and these models will herald the full electrification era for Maserati. The totally New GranTurismo and GranCabrio will be produced at the Turin production hub, where FCA is investing €800 million.
Production of the new models will complement that of the prestigious and continuously improving line-up of current Maserati range: Levante, Quattroporte and Ghibli.
With the introduction of various product innovations, Maserati is reinforcing the importance of Italy with regards to its production — particularly Modena, which will also continue to play a strategic role as the Brand’s headquarters.
Construction has already begun in Modena on a paint shop, a new feature for the plant, which will be equipped with innovative, low environmental-impact technologies. The design of the paint shop will also allow Maserati customers to watch their car being painted.
Finally, Maserati is developing an entirely new customization program for customers seeking a one-of-akind level of exclusivity. A dedicated customization workshop will be created within the Modena plant.
The 2019-2021 FCA investment plan for Italy, announced on 29th November in Turin, includes thirteen totally new or significantly updated FCA models and electrified versions of 12 new or existing models, including the Maserati products, the recently announced all-new electric version of the Fiat 500 to be produced at Mirafiori, and a new premium vehicle for Alfa Romeo to be produced at Pomigliano.