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Kia No.3 production car (2010) scooped

Published: 21 May 2009

Kia will launch its new mini-MPV later this year – and it's tipped to be first with Kia's new badging system. It's out with names and in with alphanumeric badges, CAR understands, which explains why the MPV's precursor was called the No.3 concept car.

Our man in Switzerland scooped the new No.3, which looks very similar to its show car namesake. The grille, in particular, seems to follow closely the 'tiger face' espoused by Kia's ex-Audi design boss, Peter Schreyer.

It's also worth saying that all at CAR were surprised by how similar the No.3 show car looked to the new Ford Fiesta!

Tell me more about this new badging system

Think along the lines of Hyundai's new names: i10, i20, i30, the forthcoming i40... Sister company Kia is planning to follow suit, and is considering using a 'K' along with a letter to denote road cars, MPVs and SUVs.

We're in the realms of (informed) speculation here, but that points to the possibility of this car being called something like KV3. 'K' for Kia, 'V' for the versatility of an MPV and '3' being the model line. You get the idea.

When I can buy one?

The No.3/KV3/whatever will be launched at the 2009 Frankfurt motor show, with right-hand drive sales planned for January or February 2010.

It's based on the same underpinnings as the Soul and Hyundai i20 – and this architecture will also be seen on the next Rio. Insiders talk of the new mini-MPV as a sort of baby Golf Plus. It's telling that our spy photographers snapped it on benchmark test with the Vauxhall Meriva.

The new Kia will have a more practical interior than the Soul, with sliding benches and other family friendly goodies likely.

>> Do you approve of Kia's new naming system? Click 'Add your comment' and tell us

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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