The Kia Picanto is certainly not one of those models that immediately rings a bell for us, because it's not offered here in the states. Internationally though, the Picanto is a hot seller and one of Kia's cheapest vehicles in many of its markets. In many ways, the Picanto is closely related to Hyundai's i10, a vehicle which we know a little more about.
Though the next-generation Picanto may never make it over here, it's interesting to note that one of the company's cheapest offerings could be set to receive electric power and a high-tech turbocharged three-cylinder engine when it debuts in 2011. Rumors suggest that the addition of a turbocharger will jack up the horsepower from the 1.0-liter mill to a decent 110. This power should put the Picanto on a competitive level with the Ford SportKa. Of course, we are more interested in the electric version of the Picanto. Reports suggest that the Picanto EV will utilize a 50 kW motor with juice provided by a lithium-polymer battery. This setup is actually identical to the one found on the Hyundai i10 EV, which debuted in Frankfurt back in 2009. The Picanto EV should be able to travel up to 100 miles on a full charge and reach a top speed of 80 miles per hour. Those numbers would make the Picanto as capable as most other EVs coming to the U.S. Too bad we almost certainly won't see it whizzing down our roads. Hat tip to Larz!

[Source: Paultan]

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