Special Coverage

Geneva
Auto Show

Kia Motors Corp.’s new Sportage cross/utility vehicle unveiled today at the Geneva auto show is lower and wider than previous-generation models and features styling inspired by the 2007 Kue concept.

Shown in its European-market dress, the design is similar to the American version of the new, third-generation Sportage shown in photos released earlier this year.

The new dimensions and styling improve the CUV’s drag coefficient, from 0.41 to 0.37, boosting fuel economy, Kia says. The new model is 201 lbs. (91 kg) lighter than the outgoing version, also improving efficiency.

In Europe, the Sportage will offer a maximum of four powerplants, depending on the market: two gasoline engines and two diesels, making 113 hp-161 hp. A choice of 6-speed manual and automatic transmissions and front- and all-wheel drive will be available.

Kia also plans to introduce its start-stop micro-hybrid technology on European Sportages. The system will “reduce (carbon-dioxide) emissions to as low as 138 g/km,” Kia says.

In addition, the Korean auto maker debuts an electric concept version of its production Venga B-segment multipurpose vehicle.

The front-drive Venga EV concept has a twin-pack 24-kWh lithium-ion battery and electric motor that peaks at 107 hp (80 kW) and 206 lb.-ft. (280 Nm) of torque.

The concept’s projected range is 112 miles (180 km) on one charge, and top speed is said to be 87 mph (140 km/h).

Under the quick-recharging cycle (50 kW), the battery can be recharged to 80% of capacity within 20 minutes, Kia says. In a normal cycle (3.3 kW), 100% power is replenished after eight hours.

Kia also features its Ray concept coupe from the recent Chicago auto show on its Geneva stand. Both the Ray and Venga EV concepts are part of Kia’s EcoDynamics sub-brand.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com