Korean automaker Kia has announced that its Picanto Bi-Fuel compact sedan will be exported to select European markets in late 2011. Powered by both liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and gasoline, the Picanto Bi-Fuel was specifically developed to "overcome range-anxiety problems in Europe and to eliminate cold weather starting problems sometimes associated with LPG engine," a Hyundai-Kia spokesman told Ward's Auto (sub. req.).
The Picanto Bi-Fuel hybrid can travel up to 373 miles in LPG mode and, if needed, up to 115 miles in gasoline mode. Kia says that when the Picanto's engine fires up, it's in gasoline-burning mode. However, the Bi-Fuel switches over to LPG within seconds. The fuel system incorporates an underbody-mounted 35-gallon LPG tank and a 10-gallon gasoline tank.
In Korea, Kia sells the Picanto Bi-Fuel as the Morning Bi-Fuel, which is priced from 10 to 12.4 million won ($9,187 to $11,346 U.S. at the current exchange rate), depending on trim level and options. Kia has yet to announce European pricing for the Picanto Bi-Fuel.