Five-door has been shown first, three door version also on the cards.
Five-door has been shown first, three door version also on the cards.
All-new Picanto hopes to out-style the Chev Spark in cut-throat city car market.
All-new Picanto hopes to out-style the Chev Spark in cut-throat city car market.

Kia has pulled the covers off of its all-new Picanto and it is radically different to the one that you and I know.

With its sportier and more confident design (inspired by the European Kia Venga), it will take the fight straight to Chevrolet's new Spark in the "I'm trying to be funky" city car fight club.

The new Kia will be revealed in the flesh at the Geneva Motor Show in March this year, and by then we should have more pictures and more detailed information on the new car, which will also be offered as a three-door variant on the European market.

According to Kia's Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, the significant sculpting and very prominent rising character line in the new Picanto's profile results in a layering of light and shadow that breaks up the height of the car, giving it a more sure-footed stance.

This Picanto's newfound maturity is not just at face value, the completely redesigned and re-engineered car has grown both in wheelbase and overall length, a move that Kia reckons will give it a far more competitive edge in the A-segment.

It also features four all-new engines, ranging between 1.0- and 1.2-litres in displacement and all are said to boast class-leading CO2 emissions levels.

While the standard engines will be petrol powered, certain markets will also get LPG, bio-fuel and fuel-flex variations.

The exact timing of the South African launch has yet to be confirmed, but Kia would do well to get it here before this year is out - it sure looks like a winner in the making.