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Kia releases an Autogas-fuelled Picanto onto the European market

Responding to the increasing popularity of Autogas throughout Europe among cost-conscious and environmentally aware customers, Kia Motors is introducing an Autogas (LP Gas) bi-fuel model to its Picanto small-car range. By Jieun Yang, Assistant Manager, Korea LPG Association (KLPGA).

Kia is one of several Korean car manufacturers that offer a full line-up of sedans, sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs), with Kia’s Motors provided by its sister company, Hyundai.

Although Kia offers five LP Gas models on the domestic market, Kia has never exported them to Europe or the United States.

The Kia Picanto is powered by a special version of the Kia’s three-cylinder 1.0 litre Kappa engine, which offers 67 PS and 90 Nm. This lightweight unit not only enhances fuel economy but also is no slouch when it comes to providing power.

In Autogas operation, the Picanto LPG consumes just 5.8 litres per 100 kilometres, which compares very favourably with a gasoline-fuelled car with similar power; versions equipped with automatic stop-start (ISG) offer an even better 5.6 litres per 100 km. The new model generates CO2 emissions of just 100g/km. Customers can choose from 3-door or 5-door variants.

It will be the only Autogas-powered vehicle anywhere in the world that comes with a seven-year, 150 000 km warranty.

The new Picanto LPG is fitted with two fuel tanks: the regular 35-litre gasoline tank in the regular position ahead of the rear axle and a 27-litre pressurised Autogas tank located beneath the trunk floor in the space previously occupied by the spare wheel. Thanks to the space-saving installation of the Autogas tank under the vehicle floor in the rear, full luggage compartment capacity is also preserved.

Drivers can switch from gasoline to LP Gas simply by pressing a button on the dashboard.

In Korea, Kia is selling the Picanto Bi-fuel under the name of Morning. It is priced from US$ 9 832 to US$ 11 736 at the current exchange rate, depending on trim level and options. Kia has yet to announce its prices for Europe.

Later this year, the Picanto LPG will be made available in Germany, Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, Greece, Portugal and the Netherlands. This model is expected to account for up to 7% of total Picanto sales in these markets.

“The Picanto LPG is designed to satisfy a clear demand for such a bi-fuel engine, demonstrating Kia’s determination to offer consumers across Europe the widest choice of products.”  comments Benny Oeyen, Vice President Marketing and Product Planning, Kia Motors Europe.

“The Picanto is one of the most competitive vehicles in the ‘city car’ A-segment, delivering premium features at affordable prices and we anticipate that the new bi-fuel model will prove particularly popular in those European countries where LP Gas is readily available,” adds Oeyen.

Depending on the success of the Kia Picanto LPG in Europe, other Korean car companies, such as Hyundai motors and Renault Samsung Motors, are expected to look at the possibility of exporting Autogas versions of their vehicles.

The Kia Picanto LPG could contribute to of enhancing the competitiveness of Autogas vehicles in markets around the world, including Australia, Japan, and the United States, as well as Europe, and provide an attractive alternative to the retrofit LP Gas market.

For more information about the Autogas-fuelled Kia Picanto, please contact Jieun Yang at lovesea012@klpg.or.kr.