SEOUL - Kia Motors unveiled three concept cars at the Seoul show: the Credos/Clarus-based Vagabond station wagon, the KMX-4 minivan and the KMS-III coupe.
Kia will launch the Vagabond as the Credos/Clarus wagon in February 1998. But Kia said it has no plans for production versions of the minivan and coupe.
Kia will launch a minivan, code-named KV-II, in January 1999. The seven-seater will be powered by a Rover-developed, 2.5-liter, V-6 gasoline engine and a four-cylinder, 2.9-liter turbodiesel. But Kia executives denied that the KMX-4 previews the shape of the production vehicle.
The Sephia-based KMS-III is smaller than Hyundai's Lantra coupe. It measures 3989mm long, 1702mm wide and 1219mm high and is powered by a 2.0-liter dual overhead camshaft engine.
Kia sources said that the Pride and Avella superminis will be replaced in July 1999 with a car code-named B-III. It will be powered by a 1.5-liter engine and offered in four- and five-door versions.
At a private reception for its foreign importers, Kia also showed the new-generation Sephia four-door sedan that goes on sale in November in Korea.
Kia calls it a major facelift, although the new model looks very similar to the current Sephia.
The sedan version will be followed by the Leo five-door hatchback version in November 1998.
Other new Kias expected in Europe include the long-wheelbase Sportage Grand. It is finally on sale in South Korea, three years after its debut as a concept car.
Also on the way is the Retona, a 4x4 off-roader based on Sportage running gear that replaces the Rocsta. The Retona is built by Kia's sister company Asia Motors. However, Mark Quinn, Kia Great Britain managing director, said Kia has given approval for international distributors to badge Asia Motors vehicles as Kias.
The Morning sub-mini, unveiled as a research prototype at the 1993 Tokyo motor show, may have been abandoned. It is still on Kia's planned-product list, but no launch date has been announced internally.