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2011 Kia Picanto under consideration for Australia

The 2011 Kia Picanto – revealed today in the first official sketches – could be headed for Australia.
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With the all-new Rio due in mid-2011 set to be larger, more feature-packed and potentially more expensive as a result, there is likely to be room beneath it for an entry-level city car like the Picanto.

Kia Motors Australia chief operating officer, Tony Barlow, hosed down suggestions of a certain local debut, but admitted the Picanto presented an interesting business case.

“While there are no immediate plans to bring Picanto to Australia, we have been – and will continue to – look at opportunities in areas in which we do not currently compete,” Mr Barlow said.“The Picanto now has the advantage of being an all-new car and if it makes sense as a business case then it is certainly not off the agenda.”

The next generation Picanto will make its world premiere at the 2011 Geneva International Motor Show in March. It will go on sale in the UK in the second quarter of 2011.

The images show a far more aggressive design, which appears to draw inspiration from the Toyota iQ at the front and the Volkswagen Polo at the rear.

The latest concept by Kia chief design officer Peter Schreyer is a significant step forward from the outgoing model, which had an odd, startled look about it.

The new Picanto will share its platform with its sister car, the Hyundai i10, which is also slated for launch in Australia.