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Old 23rd November 2011, 07:37   #1
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Default Scoop! Kia Picanto spotted testing

Not so long ago, there were speculations flying around in the media about the possible entry of Kia, Hyundai's sister brand into India. Hyundai promptly refused the rumors and said that Kia's plans for India was shelved and it is not going to make it here anytime soon. Coming from Hyundai itself, it was reason enough to believe that Kia is not destined for the Indian market and
close the chapter. Well, it is time now to reopen the Kia subject as a friend of mine spotted, snapped and sent me the picture of a bright green Kia Picanto doing rounds in Chennai.

Scoop! Kia Picanto spotted testing-kia-picanto-spy-shot-1.jpg

This the closest and clearest shot yet of the Kia Picanto in India. What on earth would a Kia small car be doing here with 'Test' registration plates and its badges and logo masked? Like some manufacturers do, Kia could be conducting some global tests on the Picanto in India to test its worthiness without any intentions to launch it here. Or, it could well be using the existing Picanto's body shell to test the underpinnings of the next generation i10 and Picanto as the two share many components. But, I wish to believe otherwise.

With no less than 4 small cars in its lineup that already overlaps between each other in price and positioning, Hyundai has left no space to launch another small car here to grow further and increase their volumes. Obviously, the next phase of growth for Hyundai can only come through Kia and this test mule has just sparked all speculations about the possible launch of the brand in India within the next few years. Though Kia shares most of its models with Hyundai, they have a completely different design language and the interiors are all-new as well.

Scoop! Kia Picanto spotted testing-kia-picanto-1.jpg

Globally, the Picanto (Morning in Korea) is a successful model for Kia that has been raking in big volumes. It shares its powertrain, chassis and all the basic underpinnings with the i10 and to many eyes including mine, the Picanto looks much better, bolder and aggressive than the i10. Who knows, Hyundai could even be planning to surprise us all in the 2012 Auto Expo by bringing in the Picanto and showcasing the Kia brand to the public. I, for one, can't wait for more information on this. We are waiting for you, Kia!

I have just copied and pasted the text from my blog ANYTHING ON WHEELS.
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Old 23rd November 2011, 08:11   #2
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Default re: Scoop! Kia Picanto spotted testing New pics on Page 2

Nice catch there!

The Picanto sure looks better than the i10,especially from behind.Although i dont see as to how Hyundai can position this car in the Indian market,they might just launch it as a sub-brand,and badge it is "Kia Picanto By Hyundai".Will bring a certain freshness into the hyundai name,they have been here for long,and also reassure the customer that in the end its a Hyundai product.

But most probably Hyundai might be contemplating producing Picanto's here for export to Europe,and not for the Indian domestic market.
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Old 23rd November 2011, 09:21   #3
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Default re: Scoop! Kia Picanto spotted testing New pics on Page 2

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One of Riot Engine's correspondents snapped these pictures early in the morning. These happen to be the clearest shots of the Kia. The vehicle though is left hand drive.
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Old 23rd November 2011, 10:01   #4
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Default re: Scoop! Kia Picanto spotted testing New pics on Page 2

The car has not been on the roads for too long, the sandalwood paste and kumkum smears on all the corners have not faded.

Considering its LHD, my guess is that it is the diesel being tested. Hyundai have been making some noises about setting up a diesel engine plant in India.

Last edited by indivic : 23rd November 2011 at 10:11.
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Old 23rd November 2011, 10:09   #5
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Default re: Scoop! Kia Picanto spotted testing New pics on Page 2

Hyundai may replace the Santro with Kai Picanto. There were reports of Hyundai looking for Santro replacement.
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Old 23rd November 2011, 11:06   #6
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Default re: Scoop! Kia Picanto spotted testing New pics on Page 2

This car can easily replace the i10 too. IMO, Picanto has creases that are too strong. The front looks good and if Hyundai powers it with a Diesel heart, it will be a run-away success.
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Old 23rd November 2011, 12:15   #7
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Default re: Scoop! Kia Picanto spotted testing New pics on Page 2

Bold looks and choice of color. Couldn't agree to the squarish rear glass and the boot lid protruding to the sides as in the EON. Did I hear about diesel in any above posts? Sadly, I couldn't find a diesel motor in KIA's microsite, though they mention about a Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV) engine. If the diesel gets launched, I guess it is going to be the Beat beater.

But, why on earth would they want to test a left hand drive under a TC badge?
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Old 23rd November 2011, 12:40   #8
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Default re: Scoop! Kia Picanto spotted testing New pics on Page 2

If this car is being launched in India, the feel it would take up I10 in positioning and I10 could go on to replace Santro. Considering that I10 has been launched with the CNG version.
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Old 23rd November 2011, 15:04   #9
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Default re: Scoop! Kia Picanto spotted testing New pics on Page 2

I like the car - better than the fluidic i10 ! And from what I remember, the i10 is in it's 4th year now? So can we assume they might launch it in another one year ? I would love for them to bring in a diesel as well. First a 4 pot for the i10 range and then a 3 pot of the same version in Eon too! Hope they introduce this along with the i10. To be frank, i10 still holds fresh in the line compared to some of the rivals.
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Old 23rd November 2011, 15:09   #10
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Default re: Scoop! Kia Picanto spotted testing New pics on Page 2

Its a mix of the Brio and the Polo! I think adding another car between Eon and I10 would not hurt!
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Old 23rd November 2011, 16:00   #11
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Default re: Scoop! Kia Picanto spotted testing New pics on Page 2

I see a white KIA Picanto down my office everyday. The new 2011 model is good in terms of quality , design. It is MUCH better than i10 in all aspects. It will be a sure hit in India. I hope Hyundai prices it right with a diesel engine option at launch itself.

KIA Rio sedan will be good option C segment car to take on Etios/Dezire/Manza and the likes.

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Old 23rd November 2011, 16:07   #12
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Default re: Scoop! Kia Picanto spotted testing New pics on Page 2

The fact that Hyundai and Kia share platforms and power trains but have independent design language is an excellent opportunity to launch the Korean onslaught. This can be another vw-skoda like story where one brand fills up the gaps left by the other, especially if Kia can come up with some sweet handling cars to go with the stunning designs.

Last edited by octane_100 : 23rd November 2011 at 16:08. Reason: Correcting typos
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Old 23rd November 2011, 16:23   #13
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Default re: Scoop! Kia Picanto spotted testing New pics on Page 2

What is the differentiation between KIA and Hyundai?As in what is the USP of KIA?They are positioned as sportier versions,but notch below Hyundai?
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Old 23rd November 2011, 20:31   #14
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Default re: Scoop! Kia Picanto spotted testing New pics on Page 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by avishar View Post
Nice catch there!
Thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by avishar View Post
The Picanto sure looks better than the i10,especially from behind.Although i dont see as to how Hyundai can position this car in the Indian market,
If I were Hyundai, I would bring in the Picanto as a launch pad for the Kia brand. When VW and Skoda can peacefully co-exist in India with almost identical interiors and exteriors, models of Hyundai and Kia can flourish here, given the fact that they both have a strong design language of their own and all-new interiors as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by indivic View Post
The car has not been on the roads for too long, the sandalwood paste and kumkum smears on all the corners have not faded.
Nice observation there. Though I posted the first picture, I quite didn't notice that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gurudatta Nayak View Post
Hyundai may replace the Santro with Kai Picanto. There were reports of Hyundai looking for Santro replacement.
That's too much of a stretch given the price in which the Santro currently retails. But, I do agree that the Picanto share its underpinnings with the i10 and Santro before it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAS View Post
This car can easily replace the i10 too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftnfurious View Post
I like the car - better than the fluidic i10 ! And from what I remember, the i10 is in it's 4th year now? So can we assume they might launch it in another one year ?
I strongly suspect that Hyundai is testing this Kia Picanto in India to gather valuable data and information as the next-gen i10, that is due in a couple of years, could be based on this all-new Picanto. Remember that this Picanto is all-new and was just launched in the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.
Quote:
Originally Posted by octane_100 View Post
The fact that Hyundai and Kia share platforms and power trains but have independent design language is an excellent opportunity to launch the Korean onslaught. This can be another vw-skoda like story where one brand fills up the gaps left by the other, especially if Kia can come up with some sweet handling cars to go with the stunning designs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by avishar View Post
What is the differentiation between KIA and Hyundai?As in what is the USP of KIA?They are positioned as sportier versions,but notch below Hyundai?
I think Kia will take the sportier route leaving Hyundai to go mainstream. I presume, just like in all international markets, Kia models could be positioned a bit lower than respective Hyundai models.
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Old 23rd November 2011, 21:37   #15
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Default re: Scoop! Kia Picanto spotted testing New pics on Page 2

Now if they could just launch the Sorento in India at an affordable price..
Waiting for some good options in the 10+ SUV range..
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