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AIMS: Kia promotes premium aspirations

Premium intentions: The Maserati-like styling of the Kia Quoris sedan points at the South Korean’s intentions to enter the premium car market.

Quoris luxury sedan stars on Kia’s Sydney show stand alongside Track’ster and Rondo


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17 Oct 2012

KIA will have the luxurious Quoris sedan on its stand at this week’s Sydney motor show – but the South Korean car-maker says this does not mean an Australian release is imminent, merely that it showcases the company’s technological prowess.

Also drawing the crowds is the sporty Track’ster concept that hints at next year’s second-generation Soul small car, making its Australian debut following previous outings earlier in the year at the Chicago and Geneva shows.

Representing upcoming production models is the sleek next-generation Rondo people-mover, fresh from the recent Paris motor and making its Australian debut ahead of its showroom arrival around April next year, while the just-launched Sorento seven-seat SUV will also take a bow.

The Quoris on Kia’s stand is fully loaded with goodies like a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlights, 360-degree parking cameras, self-parking and keyless entry with push-button start.

Information delivered to the driver through the head-up display includes current speed and speed limit, satellite-navigation directions and warnings from the blind-spot monitoring system.

A sophisticated infotainment system co-developed with technology giant Intel has three-dimensional display graphics and can play a multitude of digital audio and video formats that can also be displayed to rear passengers on twin seat-mounted 9.2-inch monitors.

Surround sound is piped though 16 speakers and a subwoofer, fed by a 12-channel digital amplifier from premium audio specialist Lexicon by Harman.

Kia’s first rear-wheel-drive car, the Quoris has not been entirely ruled out for Australian sale, but current production plans are to build it only in left-hand drive.

With styling resembling a cross between the Maserati Quattroporte and Lexus GS, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class-size Quoris was designed to take the fight up to established luxury brands and Kia claims the car “sets new standards for automotive luxury and ease-of-use”.

At the other end of the size scale, the hot-shoe Track’ster concept packs a 186kW 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine driving all four wheels via fat 19-inch billet alloys.

Braking is handled by powerful six-piston Brembo callipers clamping 356mm cross-drilled rotors at the front, with four-piston units and 340mm discs at the back.

Kia Motors Australia national PR manager Kevin Hepworth told GoAuto the Track’ster earns its place at the Sydney show because it “underscores the excitement of Kia’s design”.

As well as pointing to the design direction of Kia’s next-generation Soul small car, the Track’ster – or something like it – could eventually land in showrooms because Kia head of design Peter Schreyer recently said he hoped there would be a production future for the concept.

In a world where families are turning to SUVs for transport, Kia hopes the new Rondo’s sleek, clean-sheet design will serve to bring a bit more desirability to the segment.

Still able to seat seven, the new Rondo – recently revealed at the Paris motor show as the Carens – is externally smaller, being 20mm shorter, 15mm narrower and 40mm lower than its predecessor, the frumpy Rondo 7 that carries the title of Australia’s least-expensive people-mover.

However, Kia claims the Rondo’s cab-forward design and increased wheelbase mean it is more spacious than the outgoing car.

In addition to thoughtful interior features that have become a cornerstone of the people-mover category, Kia has applied high-tech safety and convenience features such as lane-departure warning, self-parking, a reversing camera and Xenon headlights.

The new Rondo is expected debut a grunty diesel engine in Australia, alongside a direct-injection 130kW 2.0-litre petrol engine providing a 24kW boost over the outgoing model – and all models will come with six-speed transmissions.

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1st of January 1970

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