24 February 2009

You should have seen the first two…

Kia readies small car concept for Geneva. It is called the No 3. Which rather begs the question…

Kia No. 3

More pictures of the Kia No. 3 concept

Kia is heading to Geneva with a new small car concept: the No 3.

For some reason skipping the Kia No. 1 and Kia No. 2 - or is it obvious why? - the Korean manufacturer has jumped straight into the numbers game with a glass-roofed supermini concept that previews its Ford Fiesta rival set to go on sale next year.

There’s more than a passing resemblance to Ford’s lovely city car, isn’t there? The No. 3 is the first complete car from Kia’s new design chief Peter Schreyer, and displays several of the design cues seen on the Soul crossover concept: angular headlights and a strong chin give the No. 3 a far more distinctive front end than the current Kia production line-up.

Perhaps the most striking feature, though, is the diagonal header rail running across the top of the windscreen and panoramic roof. Asymmetricality is much underrated in small city cars, we think.

When it goes into production next year, the No. 3 will be based on the same platform as the deeply competent Hyundai i20 (Hyundai owns Kia, remember) and Kia Soul, and will be in direct competition both with the current crop of superminis including the Mazda2, but also mini-MPVs like the Renault Modus and Vauxhall Meriva.

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