Kia has confirmed its next-generation Picanto light hatchback will arrive with a manual gearbox option for the first time when it lands in Australian showrooms in May this year.
Although the Korean car-maker is still playing coy on what engines will be paired with the new three-pedal and automatic Picanto, it has revealed that the European-spec models will be offered with a choice of three Euro 6-compliant petrol engines.
An all-new 74kW/172Nm 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder will propel the new Picanto overseas, with a zero to 100km/h acceleration time of 10.1 seconds, while a 49kW/96Nm 1.0-litre atmo triple – a carryover unit from the previous generation – will see the light car hit triple digits in 14.3s.
A 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine is also on offer – the same unit available in the current-gen automatic-only Australian Picanto – which develops 62kW/122Nm.
Kia has also upped refinement and composure in its new model.
While Australia's second-generation Picanto will likely still find motivation from the 1.2-litre atmo donk, the turbocharged 1.0-litre unit is also expected to make its way into the local range under the bonnet of up-spec variants.
This would open up the possibility for Kia to introduce a new 1.2-litre entry-level manual Picanto for the same $14,990 driveaway price as the outgoing model, as the rest of the range is expected to receive a slight bump in pricing to reflect the increase in equipment and technology.
Kia has also upped refinement and composure in its new model, with a quicker steering rack, retuned electronic stability control, 15mm longer wheelbase, stiffer anti-roll bars and more liberal use of sound deadening materials throughout the cabin and body construction.
Six airbags and the option of autonomous emergency braking and tyre pressure monitoring are also included.
Full Australian details are expected to be revealed at next month's Geneva motor show.