Kias Ceed - publishers and copy sub-editors  can now relax

Kia's Ceed - publishers and copy sub-editors can now relax

The new Kia Ceed (note name subtly changed from predecessor cee'd) will enter production in Q2 2018 at Kia's Žilina manufacturing facility in Slovakia. Kia is aiming to boost its annual European sales to 500,000 units in the medium term, boosted by the Ceed product which is aimed squarely at European drivers in the C-segment.

The third generation car goes on sale across left-hand-drive markets in Europe from the end of Q2 2018. It will also get its world debut at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show next month.

Kia says that since the first-generation Kia cee'd started production at Kia's Slovakian manufacturing facility in December 2006, more than 1.28m units have been built. Kia says that the new naming format – cee'd becomes Ceed – consolidates its reputation as a car for the 'Community of Europe, with European Design'. More than 640,000 of the second-generation model have been built since production began in 2012. As it enters its third iteration, the Ceed is expected to account for an even greater proportion of Kia's European sales, Kia says.

Like its predecessors, the model has been designed, developed and engineered in Frankfurt by Kia's European design, product development and R&D teams. It will be manufactured at the brand's production facility in Žilina, Slovakia, alongside the Kia Sportage and Kia Venga.

Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe, said: "The Kia Ceed has been a lynchpin in the brand's consistent growth across Europe for more than a decade. Created for European buyers, the introduction of the Ceed in 2006 represented a watershed moment for Kia.

"Building on these solid foundations, the all-new Ceed offers a truly contemporary and recognisable design, and advanced technologies to enhance comfort, convenience and safety. Its new engines and suspension will make it more enjoyable and engaging to drive, and will continue to offer the same high quality that customers expect from Kia. This will be one of the most innovative cars in its class."

The Ceed will make its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March, where a second body style will also be unveiled for the first time. The five-door hatchback will enter production in May.

An 'expanded role' for the Ceed in the European C-segment

In 2017, the C-segment accounted for 22% of all European vehicle sales, and is consistently one of the two largest segments by volume. The outgoing cee'd accounted for 16% of Kia's total European sales in 2017.

Michael Cole says that Kia is targeting more than half a million annual sales in Europe, boosted by the new model. "Since the introduction of the Ceed, Kia's annual European sales have more than doubled, from 225,000 in 2006 to more than 472,000 in 2017. In the medium term, we are targeting annual sales of more than 500,000 vehicles."

The Kia Ceed has been designed at the brand's European design centre in Frankfurt, Germany, under the direction of Gregory Guillaume, European Head of Design, and Peter Schreyer, President of Design and Chief Design Officer.

Lower, wider, and with a longer rear overhang than the car it replaces, the Ceed's cab-rearward silhouette exhibits a 'more mature sense of athleticism', Kia says.

Constructed on Kia's 'K2' platform, the new Ceed is 20mm wider (1,800mm) and 23mm lower (1,447mm) than the outgoing model. Its wheelbase remains the same at 2,650mm, with the front overhang shortened by 20mm (to 880mm), and rear overhang extended by 20mm (now 780mm).

Engines

Petrol options include an updated version of Kia's popular 1.0-litre T-GDi (Turbocharged Gasoline Direct injection) engine, producing 120ps, as well as a new 1.4-litre T-GDi power unit. Replacing the earlier 1.6-litre GDI engine, the new 'Kappa' 1.4-litre T-GDi engine produces 140ps, four per cent more than its predecessor despite its lower displacement. Kia maintains that the engine's turbocharger ensures a wider torque band than the earlier 1.6-litre engine, making it more responsive in a wider range of driving conditions – while also reducing emissions. A 100ps 1.4-litre MPi (Multi-Point injection) engine will also be available.

The Ceed is also available with Kia's all-new 'U3' diesel engine. Designed to go beyond the stricter limits laid down by the latest Euro 6d TEMP emissions standard, the new 'U3' 1.6-litre CRDi (Common-Rail Direct injection) uses Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) active emissions control technology to significantly reduce emissions. Kia says the new engine therefore produces less carbon dioxide, particulate matter and NOx compared to earlier Kia diesel engines. Available with a choice of power outputs (115 and 136ps), the new 1.6-litre diesel produces 280 Nm of torque. Fitted with the new engine, the Ceed's carbon dioxide emissions are expected to fall below 110 g/km on the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), when converted to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).

Every engine will be paired with a six-speed manual transmission, while the new 1.4-litre T-GDi and 1.6-litre CRDi engines will also be available with Kia's seven-speed double-clutch transmission.

Interior

The cabin features a wide range of new technologies to enhance comfort and convenience for occupants. The 'floating' infotainment system is available as either a 5.0- or 7.0-inch touchscreen audio system, or 8.0-inch touchscreen navigation system, with buyers able to specify a powerful JBL Premium sound system with Clari-Fi music restoration technology. Standard technologies include full Bluetooth smartphone integration, as well as automatic lights and keyless entry.

A Drive Mode Select system will enable owners to tailor their driving experience, with Normal and Sport modes. Drivers can use Drive Mode Select to alter the level of effort required to steer the car, while each mode subtly changes the character of the engine. Normal mode maximises the potential for greater fuel efficiency and offers more relaxed steering inputs. Sport mode enhances throttle responses, enables faster acceleration – from a standstill and at speed – and adapts the steering to offer additional weight and more decisive responses to driver inputs.

An optional heated windscreen is available - the first time this technology has featured in a Kia. A wireless smartphone charger, heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear seats are also available.

On the outside, the Ceed is fitted with newly-designed 'ice cube' style LED daytime running lights (DRLs) as standard. Previously, these were only featured on GT and GT-Line models, embedded into the front bumper – the 'ice cube' DRLs are now integrated into the headlamp units on every model in the Ceed range. Full LED headlamps are also available as an option.

ADAS

In addition to the car's seven standard airbags, advanced driver assistance technologies further enhance occupant protection, using active safety systems to mitigate the risk of collisions. Standard safety technologies will include High Beam Assist, Driver Attention Warning, Lane Keeping Assist and Forward Collision Warning with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist.

A first for any Kia sold in Europe, the Ceed is available with Lane Following Assist, a 'Level Two' autonomous driving technology. Lane Following Assist tracks vehicles in front of the Ceed in traffic, and identifies appropriate spaces in other lanes to move in to safely to gain more ground in heavy congestion. It detects road markings to keep the Ceed in its lane on the motorway, and controls acceleration, braking and steering depending on the convoy of vehicles in front. The system uses external sensors to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front, operating between 0 and 81mph.

Additional available technologies include Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Blind Spot Collision Warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning, Smart Parking Assist, and pedestrian recognition with haptic steering wheel warnings for the Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist system.

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