Spied - The mysterious Kia Picanto/Morning returns

19/01/2013 - 16:07 | ,  ,   | Anjan Ravi

At first look, these spyshots may appear to be a refreshed Hyundai Eon on test. But why would the Koreans refresh their offering so soon?

Kia Picanto being tested possibly by MahindraKia Picanto on the roadKia Picanto on the road

It doesn’t make sense. The car here is a Korean though, just not a Hyundai. It’s Hyundai’s sister company, Kia and the car in question is the Morning (also known as the Picanto), the i10's cousin sister.

While spotting the test mule of a Kia Picanto is not entirely new given that we have seen it before, there a few things strange on this particular mule. First of all, the Kia Picanto spotted previously wore a heavy layer of camouflage and sported different trade certification number plates.

The Picanto here is left completely undisguised though. It was spotted on the NH45 on the outskirts of Chennai by Mr. Shahul Hameed who happens to be a huge IndianAutosBlog.com fan and daily reader.

See the other Kia Picanto that's on test in Chennai

While we’re perplexed as to the nature of this test mule, we can only come to one conclusion. This is a car in continuing to be used for a benchmark test by another manufacturer. It is not something uncommon. Manufacturer’s routinely rope in such benchmark cars to test their new vehicles and see how it fares. It’s a common practice and something we’ve witnessed in the past as well.

This begs a much further question. Who is the manufacturer testing the Kia Picanto in Chennai? Our sources say that Mahindra whose R&D is located in the vicinity could be using the Picanto for benchmarking purposes for their upcoming compact car that is being developed as the S101.

Would the paths of the test mules cross each other? That would make for a great photo opportunity!

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