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First Look: 2011 Kia Sportage

Korean maker adds another trio of premiers at Geneva.

by on Mar.02, 2010

The 2011 Kia Sportage is one of several new models the Korean maker is introducing at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show.

Kia celebrated its attendance at the Geneva Motor Show with the world premiere of its compact crossover, the 2011 Sportage.

With an all-new look that moves away from classic SUV design, and a new “ecoDynamics” powertrain, the Korean maker is betting Sportage should keep the momentum going in Europe, as well as its biggest global market, the U.S.

The new body looks more svelte, perhaps because it has been lowered by nearly an inch and put on a diet shaving almost 200 pounds of weight; but it’s actually about an inch longer, which translates into a more roomy interior.  Meanwhile, the CUVs aerodynamics have improved which, along with the lower weight, is expected to yield a noticeable bump in fuel economy.

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For the Europe market, Kia will come in with a pair of gasoline engines and another two diesels, Sportage coming to showrooms in either front- or all-wheel-drive configuration.  Reflecting the Continent’s increasing focus on global warming, Kia has added a new Start/Stop feature that automatically shuts the engine off while idling.  That means the crossover can cut CO2 emissions as low as 138 grams per kilometer, depending on powertrain.

Kia presents its first full battery-electric concept, the Venga, at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show.

In U.S. trim, expect to see a version of the 2.4 liter Theta II I-4, which recently debuted in Hyundai’s Tucson.  Highway cycle mileage will almost certainly top the 30 mpg mark.

Echoing an approach that’s proved successful in building recognition its improved quality among U.S. buyers, the new Cee’d and Sorento will get a new 7-year warranty.

The other significant announcement, in Geneva, is Kia’s Venga, a battery-electric concept car. With an electric motor making 80 kW and 280 Nm of torque, the Kia Venga is expected to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph (0 to 100 kmh) in under 12 seconds, and has a top speed of about 88 mph.

Using a special, high-voltage charger, Kia says the battery prototype’s lithium-ion power pack can be recharged to about 80% in just 20 minutes, though using a conventional home power pack, a full recharge will take closer to eight hours.

Slow to enter the global green space, Kia intends to use Venga to show its sustainable intentions

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