A report published by Just Auto hints at the possible introduction of a cross version of the Kia Picanto. It could go on sale in Europe and other markets in 2018.
Citing a source, the report says a new version of the Picanto with the raised suspension is in the works. It might make its global debut at the IAA 2017 in Frankfurt, which kicks off on September 12, 2017. With customer focus shifting towards crossovers and SUVs on a global scale, a Cross version will add new appeal to Kia's entry-level product.
In the second quarter of 2017 (April-June), Kia witnessed a decline in net profit due to weak demand in China and the United States. Kia hopes the upcoming Stonic and Stinger will help offset the downturn to some extent. The introduction of variants like the Picanto Cross can further help sales recover.
Kia's Picanto Cross will join enriched variants of many other A-segment hatchbacks. Sister concern Hyundai sells the Grand i10 X, but it is exclusive to the Indonesian market. It rides 15 mm higher than the standard car and features faux skid plates and body cladding giving it the crossover look. Other A-segment hatchbacks that have undergone the crossover treatment include the Volkswagen Cross Up! unveiled in Geneva in March 2013 and the Chevrolet Spark Activ sold in the US market.
In the UK, Kia offers the Picanto with a choice of 66 bhp 1.0 L MPi and 83 bhp 1.25 L MPi petrol engines. The latter gets an optional 4-speed automatic transmission besides the standard 5-speed manual. Later this year, the Kia Picanto will receive a 99 bhp 1.0 L T-GDi petrol engine.
The Kia Picanto could be one of the first few products to be launched in India once Kia starts manufacturing operations at its new facility in Andhra Pradesh in H2 2019.
[source - Just Auto]