The World Premiere of the new Kia pro_cee'd three-door hatchback, at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in Germany 11 September in production form, marks the la...More »
The World Premiere of the new Kia pro_cee'd three-door hatchback, at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in Germany 11 September in production form, marks the latest expansion of the popular Kia cee'd family.
Longer, lower and lighter than its five-door hatchback sister car, the three-door pro_cee'd brings more style and more sportiness to the C-segment marketplace and is destined to broaden the appeal of the cee'd to a new group of European consumers and achieve thousands of 'conquest' sales for the Kia brand.
"The new Kia pro_cee'd offers consumers sensationally stylish looks with a truly sporty feel to the driving experience, while also retaining most of the attributes of the popular cee'd five-door hatchback - including excellent practicality and versatility," enthuses Jean-Charles Lievens, Senior Vice President Kia Motors Europe.
"With performance, ride and handling that is even more responsive than the five-door, the pro_cee'd will be available with the same wide choice of engines and specifications as its sister car. I think pro_cee'd is truly a great looking car and we know for certain that it will delight existing Kia customers and attract numerous European consumers who find three-door cars particularly attractive and who have not yet considered our brand."
Despite its sporty appearance and lower roofline, the 4.25-metre long pro_cee'd has an unusually long wheelbase and will offer class-leading passenger and luggage space, plus highly competitive levels of equipment and state-of-the-art active and passive safety. Customers in Europe will be able to choose from a line-up of 19 pro_cee'd cars, with three equipment levels (LX, EX and TX), five engines, with manual or automatic transmissions, and an extensive range of optional equipment (depending on individual markets).
Distinctive styling with a cee'd family theme
Thanks to its early conception in the cee'd family creative process, the pro_cee'd has 'stand-alone' good looks despite a large degree of commonality with other cee'd models, beneath the exterior skin.
"It is a completely resolved design, with only the bonnet and front wings carried over from the five-door, and features unique exterior panels to create its own distinctive style," comments Gregory Guillaume, Kia Motors Europe Chief Designer. "We wanted to make pro_cee'd as 'sporty' as a cee'd could possibly be, while still remaining a member of our cee'd family."
Because the Kia cee'd family of three models was conceived simultaneously, the new pro_cee'd three-door hatchback has the same in-depth engineering integrity as the five-door hatchback and the wagon. A total of 15 mm longer than the five-door, the pro_cee'd has longer overhangs - by 10 mm at the front and 5 mm at the rear.
Although the pro_cee'd roofline is 30 mm lower than its hatchback sibling, the 2650 mm wheelbase is retained, so the cabin has most of the cee'd's proven practicality and versatility, with generous legroom and shoulder room. The new roofline and sloping C-pillar design bring about a small reduction in headroom - down 30 mm in front and 40 mm in the rear, but two 1.70-metre adults can sit comfortably in the rear.
Luggage capacity is also generous for this type of vehicle, totalling 340 litres - loaded up to the bottom of the rear windows and including 55 litres of storage in moulded trays beneath the floor, fitted as standard - just like the hatchback and the Sporty Wagon. The total capacity with the rear seats folded is class-competitive and only slightly down on the five-door cee'd hatchback.
Longer, lower, bolder look for new pro_cee'd
"We wanted to make pro_cee'd as 'sporty' as a cee'd could possibly be, while still remaining a member of our cee'd family," explains Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer Kia Motors Europe. "We are proud that the appearance of the production car remains so close to the concept we showed at the Paris Motor Show last year and only the frameless doors have been dropped.
The three-door, Kia pro_cee'd is such a comprehensive re-working of the cee'd design theme that only the bonnet and the front wing panels are carried over from the five-door. All other exterior panels are new and exclusive to this model. However, like its family siblings, pro_cee'd has a similar 'tough not rough' appearance, combining strongly solid forms with sensitively flowing lines, jewel-like detailing and a broad stance.
"With the pro_cee'd production car we have communicated sportiness mostly through the car's exterior design," continues Guillaume. "At the front, we have extended the nose by 10 mm and pulled down the mass by introducing a shallower grille, new-style headlamps, a wider, lower bumper with a prominent lip spoiler, a deeper central air intake that is wider at the bottom than the top and larger fog lights set into elliptical depressions.
"The profile makes pro_cee'd truly distinctive. While the windscreen angle is unchanged, the screen is much shallower and the vehicle height is reduced by 30 mm. The cant rail above the door and side window is deeper. The doors, which are 276 mm longer than the pro_cee'd's 5-door cousin, have a unique design that highlights the sporty character of this model. The beltline rises much more steeply towards the rear. To 'sit' the car even more securely on the road, the blade-shaped swage line has a sharper section and both the top and bottom edges rise at the rear, blending into the wheel arch.
"The side window, C-Pillar and tailgate spoiler are of course all new and although the rear screen is steeply raked, rear headroom remains good and the trunk capacity is unchanged. The rear wing panels are pulled in a little (compared with the 5-door) so the rear wheel arches appear to protrude further from the main body - although the overall width is unchanged," comments Guillaume.
"At the rear, the side beltline tracks the outside edge of the all-new jewel-like rear lamp cluster and flows seamlessly into and around the rear bumper which is extended by 5 mm. This flow is echoed by a crisp crease line between the metal edge of the tailgate and the rear screen. This subtle stress line wraps around the inside edge of the light clusters, seeming to push them outwards, making the car look wider. Flow lines are also created by the rear wheel arch and rear bumper with corner ridges that pick-up on the swage lines. Unlike other cee'd models, the exhaust tailpipe on the pro_cee'd is boldly displayed," concludes Guillaume.
Under the guidance of Guillaume, pro_cee'd was styled by a dedicated multinational Kia design team in Germany, assisted by a design team in Korea. Like other members of the family, the third cee'd model is exclusively tailored to meet the requirements of the European C-segment and the tastes of European consumers.
The final look of the production pro_cee'd was developed from European designs in Kia's world-class full-size aero-acoustic wind tunnel at the Namyang R&D Centre in Korea. The pro_cee'd has a smooth exterior, with elegant detailing and no unnecessary features, which results in significantly improved aerodynamics.
The 4250 mm long three-door hatchback, which is 15 mm longer than the five-door, with 10 mm greater overhang (875 mm) at the front and 5 mm (725 mm) at the rear, has highly competitive drag and lift coefficients. Its aerodynamic drag figure is Cd 0.33 (same as the cee'd 5-door) - bettering Golf and Focus, while its lift coefficient figure is a class-best result. A low lift coefficient enhances vehicle stability at high speeds.
High-tech, lower-weight body structure
Beneath its stylish exterior, Kia's new pro_cee'd benefits from a bodyshell that has been engineered to achieve exceptionally high torsional (twisting) stiffness, which delivers a host of benefits in terms of handling, ride quality, durability, refinement and safety.
The all-new bodyshell that Kia has engineered for the pro_cee'd uses a high percentage of high tensile-strength steel (67%) for structurally critical components (to save weight and to increase torsional stiffness), while more than 87% of the bodyshell is made from anti-corrosion steel.
Model-for-model, the new pro_cee'd weighs a significant 84 kg (maximum) less than the equivalent five-door version.
Finite element analysis was performed to conduct simulated crash testing and to arrive at the optimal structural design. Kia's engineers created a final pro_cee'd bodyshell that surpasses its design goals in terms of resistance to both twisting forces (torsional rigidity) and longitudinal bending forces (flexural rigidity).
To enhance the bodyshell's ability to resist corrosion, every cee'd is subjected to a new Rotation Dipping Painting method which takes each bodyshell and rotates it through a forward somersault while immersed in the tank, ensuring the optimum coating thickness on every surface, throughout the entire shell.
Deeply impressive quality and craftsmanship
The interior of each member of the Kia cee'd family has been designed and developed to the highest standards to fully demonstrate the brand's growing 'power to surprise' and to produce cars which are perfectly in tune with European consumers' tastes and needs.
Now, eight months after the cee'd 5-door went on sale, Kia's senior executives and its many dealers know that when customers first step into a cee'd they are going to be deeply impressed by its style, execution, quality, materials, fit and finish.
"There will be several unique aspects to the experience of sitting in the three-door pro_cee'd," enthuses David Labrosse, Manager Product Planning, Kia R&D Centre, Russelsheim. "The shallower windscreen, lower roof lining and wider doors with their slimmer glass house will all create a very special ambience inside this cee'd."
"There will also be numerous features that are carried over from the cee'd family, because they have been proven to work so successfully. pro_cee'd will present customers with closely matched materials, soft-touch surfaces and high quality fabrics, made in Europe, to suit local tastes."
"The pro_cee'd will give consumers multiple choices and enable them to create their own interiors, their own atmosphere and achieve a degree of personalization that is not often possible in the C-segment," concludes Labrosse.
So the successful cee'd five-door interior design that many of that model's features and attributes are carried-over to the pro_cee'd. Key differences are the lower roofline, larger front doors and redesigned rear seat.
The lower roofline inevitably reduces headroom, but pro_cee'd still offers customers class-competitive interior space, with front headroom of 990 mm and 940 mm of rear headroom. Thanks to the long wheelbase (2650 mm) and generous dimensions from the foot pedals to the rear seat hip-point, interior space in the pro_cee'd will accommodate four large adults, or a family of five, in real comfort.
The larger pro_cee'd front door hinges feature three 'detentes' (including two intermediate steps at 25 and 50 degrees) - the last position an extra-wide 70 degrees so that the greater angle, combined with the larger door length (1486 mm long compared to 1210 mm long on the 5-door) ensures good access to the rear seats.
This access is aided by new front seats with a handle on top of the backrest which can be used to tilt the backrest forwards and slide the seat forwards in one smooth operation. Both front seats are fitted with a 'memory' mechanism so that they can be returned to their original position after passengers have boarded or exited the pro_cee'd.
These multi-adjustable front seats have wide cushions and backrests to offer superior support with generous proportions to accommodate drivers and passengers of all shapes and sizes. Adjustable lumbar support is available on both driver and passenger seats.
To boost practicality in the three-door pro_cee'd, Kia's designers re-styled the rear seat cushion, which is now fixed, and re-engineered the 60/40 split backrest so that it is easy to release and simply folds down onto the cushion with no need to remove the headrestraints. The resulting load floor extension is step-less, but not completely flat, however the car does offer excellent luggage capacity for this class of vehicle - a total of 340 litres with the rear seats upright and 1130 litres with them folded.
Like those found in the cee'd 5-door, the pro_cee'd retains the immensely practical under-floor storage trays in the load area.
Advanced diesel and gasoline powertrains
"With the style and sport oriented pro_cee'd, we are expecting that a larger percentage of customers, up to 20%, will order the 2.0-litre gasoline or diesel model, with manual transmission, with many of them also ordering the 17-inch wheels which come with stiffer dampers as standard. This combination will perfectly match the sporty character the latest cee'd derivative," comments Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer Kia Motors Europe. "As with other cee'd family models, pro_cee'd buyers will be able to select the combination of engine and transmission that most closely matches their lifestyle and motoring habits," concludes Guillaume.
For its new pro_cee'd, Kia is presenting customers the full choice of cee'd family powertrains - five Euro4 compliant engines and three transmissions, as offered in the five-door hatchback and Sporty Wagon models. Top speeds are similar to the five-door hatchback model, ranging from 206-to-172 kph.
Benefiting from a maximum weight reduction of 84 kg across the model range, the pro_cee'd accelerates more rapidly, delivering acceleration times (to 100 kph) from 10.1 to 13.5 seconds - compared to a 10.3 to 13.8 seconds spread for the five-door model.
Power outputs cover a 90 ps to 143 ps range, including the popular, advanced and highly responsive 1.6-litre, 115 ps diesel engine - designed and engineered at Kia's 'centre of diesel excellence' within the R&D Centre at Russelsheim, and manufactured by Kia in Slovakia. Fuel consumption figures range over a 4.5 to 7.7 litres/100 km span, while CO2 figures vary between 119 and 184 g/km.
To suit local taxation requirements, some of the pro_cee'd engines will be available in certain markets with lowered maximum power. Good drivability will be largely maintained as the robust torque outputs of these engines are undiminished.
Highly responsive, low consumption diesel
One of the most popular engine choices for pro_cee'd buyers is expected to be the all-new 1.6-litre CRDi 16-valve diesel engine made in Slovakia. This modern DOHC unit features an electrically actuated variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) to ensure lively performance and clean emissions. Its power and torque figures are highly competitive - 115 ps (84.6 kW) and 255 Nm. This engine is mated to a five-speed manual transmission as standard with a four-speed automatic available as an option (depending on market).
Diesel pro_cee'd customers demanding higher performance can specify Kia's Korean-built 2.0-litre CRDi diesel engine. This SOHC 16-valve CRDi unit also features second-generation common-rail technology, plus a VGT to generate 140 ps (103 kW) and 305 Nm of torque. This engine comes with a single transmission choice; a fuel-stretching high top ratio six-speed manual as standard.
As with other cee'd models, a 'lower-power' version of both diesel engines will be offered in some markets for local taxation reasons. The low 1.6 produces 90 ps (66.2 kW), while the low 2.0 gives 135 ps (99.3 kW) of power.
Choice of three gasoline engines
Kia pro_cee'd customers will also be able to order their car with one of three class-competitive 16-valve gasoline engines (1.4, 1.6 and 2.0-litres) - all fitted with performance-boosting upgraded electronic multi-point fuel injection and continuously variable valve timing (CVVT). All three engines are supplied with a five-speed manual transmission as standard.
The 1.4-litre engine generates a maximum power output of 109 ps (80.2 kW), while the 1.6-litre unit produces 122 ps (89.7 kW). For the ultimate gasoline pro_cee'd performance, Kia's compact DOHC 1975 cc gasoline engine creates a maximum of 143 ps (105.2 kW). Hide -