Today in London, Kia released photos of the new European-market family car that the company will debut later this year at the Paris auto show. Known only by the code name "ED," the five-door will do battle with C-segmant stalwarts like the Ford Focus, Renault Megane and Opel Astra.
"ED" stands for European design, and the car will be produced at Kia's Zilina, Slovakia plant. Underhood, "ED" will be available with three different gasoline engines and one diesel. A station wagon and 3-door variant are also in the cards. If you're outside Europe and want one, you're going to be disappointed. "ED" is a Europe-only effort.
Kia will keep the name under wraps until the car gets it's formal introduction in Paris this September. Whatever it's called, it looks like a nice little car. Too bad it's not in the company's North American plans.
(Additional info, photo after the jump)
KIA REVEALS ALL-NEW CHALLENGER TO C-SEGMENT LEADERS
Kia Motors Corporation issued the first official photographs of its all-new family car – code named 'ED' – at the British International Motor Show in London today. Created especially for European consumers, the new model will be Kia's strongest-ever contender for C-segment honours when it goes on sale across Europe in December 2006 – a genuine challenger to the established class leaders.
The 4.2-metre long ED has an unusually long wheelbase (2,650 mm) and will offer class-leading interior space, plus highly competitive levels of equipment and state-of-the-art active and passive safety. From launch, a range of four engines will be available, including 1.4, 1.6 and 2.0-litre CVVT gasoline engines and an all-new 1.6-litre VGT diesel engine.
"Our new C-segment model is code named 'ED' because it is a European Design created with European consumers in mind," explains Jean-Charles Lievens, Senior Vice President Kia Motors Europe. "Our ED production model's styling highlights that this car is a truly European design, tailored precisely to the C-Segment which is uniquely important in Europe. ED is truly a car designed in Europe, manufactured in Europe, to be marketed exclusively in Europe, to fulfil 100% of European customers' needs."
With its 'tough not rough' appearance, combining strongly solid forms with sensitively flowing lines, jewel-like detailing and a broad stance, ED points towards the future elements of Kia's evolving design language – like the cee'd concept car shown by Kia at the Geneva Show earlier this year and at the British Show today.
Kia's latest C-segment model, the ED will be produced at Kia's first-ever European manufacturing facility at Zilina in Slovakia. It will be marketed exclusively in Europe and the five-door launch models will be joined by a range of station wagons and sporty three-door hatchback models from September and December 2007, respectively.
The all-new Kia five-door family hatchback will make its world premiere at the Mondial de L'Automobile in Paris, France, on 28 September 2006, when its name will be revealed.