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Last September, Kia took the wraps off of the Pro_cee'd concept at the Paris Motor Show. The Pro_cee'd concept was yet another variant of the brand's popular cee'd model, this time as a three-door hatch. Come this September at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Kia will unveil the production version of the Pro_cee'd that's scheduled to go on sale in Europe in early 2008.

The Pro_cee'd is a low and wide three-door hatch with very agreeable proportions. In fact, the car is longer, lower and wider than the standard five-door cee'd, which must mean it shares few body panels despite its similar appearance. We could do with out the character lines and deep indent that mucks up the side panel, but overall it looks sportier than what we've come to expect from Kia. In Europe, we would expect the standard cee'd engines including a 1.4L and 1.6L gas motor, as well as a 1.6L diesel, to be offered in the Pro_cee'd.

Frankly, we're more than a little bewildered why Kia hasn't yet considered selling the cee'd in the U.S. market, and this three-door model only compounds our confusion. We're guessing the base car itself wasn't developed to meet U.S. safety standards and to reengineer it would tank the business case for its transatlantic voyage. There's always hope for the next-gen model, though.

[Source: Kia]

PRESS RELEASE:

KIA cee'd THREE-DOOR REVEALED

Kia Motors Corporation has released the first preview image of its exciting new Kia three-door hatchback model which will make its World Premiere at this year's Frankfurt International Motor Show on 11 September. The new model will be named Pro-cee'd.

Based closely on the earlier 'pro_cee'd' concept shown at the Paris Motor Show in 2006, the new production model has been developed by Kia's design team in Europe under the direction of Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer.

"Longer, lower and lighter than its five-door sister car, the new Kia Pro-cee'd is going to be a great drive," enthused Mr Jean-Charles Lievens, Senior Vice President Kia Motors Europe. "Combining real style and genuine practicality, our new three-door cee'd is sure to delight existing Kia customers and attract a new group of European consumers who have not yet considered our brand."

Manufactured in Slovakia, Pro-cee'd will be the third member of the Kia cee'd family, joining the popular cee'd five-door and the soon to be released cee'd SW models to make Kia an especially strong challenger for C-segment sales in Europe.

Production of the Pro-cee'd model range is scheduled to begin in November with first customer sales during the early months of 2008.

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