The 74kW Kia Picanto GT has arrived Down Under and is on-sale now with a $17,990 driveaway price tag.

While the city car market was considered dead in the water, the new Kia Picanto has been thriving. So much so, Kia decided to launch a warmed-over GT variant.

In announcing the release of the Picanto GT, Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer Damien Meredith said, “We were warned that trying to launch a micro car into Australia was a fruitless exercise and doomed to failure. The segment was shrinking fast with only a handful of cars being sold.

“Three years on and we are very happy with the way the Picanto has found a comfortable niche at the entry-level of the market.

“With that in mind it seemed like the right time to give an opportunity to a sporty version of the car, a version for which there has been a constant undercurrent of demand.”

Kia Picanto GT

The Picanto GT runs a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine which makes 74kW (at 4500rpm) and 172Nm (from 1500-4000rpm) running through the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox. And, like all other Kia product, the Picanto GT has been tuned by Kia’s local ride and handling team.

Kia said, “The ride and handling team were able to build off the basic Picanto’s Macpherson front strut and u-shaped rear torsion beam architecture to improve already impressive dynamics.

“Through a more aggressive tune for the shock absorbers and a stiffer spring rate the team was able to provide greater body control with better road feedback and improved ride comfort.”

The steering mapping was also tweaked for a faster response and 16-inch alloys and lower profile 195/45 rubber fitted. In terms of standard safety, there’s autonomous emergency braking, six airbags, ABS, ESC, Hill Assist Control, Vehicle Stability Management, Torque Vectoring Brake Based, Forward Collision Warning and Straight Line Stability.

Kia Picanto GT

As far as creature comforts go, you get Bluetooth connectivity, four-speaker audio system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, air-conditioning, driver seat height adjustment, power windows front and rear with auto-up on driver’s window. The Picanto GT will stand apart from the rest of the range via contrast body accents, twin exhaust, a body kit and GT badge. It will be available in Clear White and premium colours Titanium Silver, Aurora Black and Signal Red.


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