August 24, 2007 Kia is set to debut the new pro_cee’d at the Frankfurt International Motor Show on 11 September. Longer, lower and lighter than its five-door sister car, the pro_cee’d aims inject a dose of sportiness into the line-up whilst retaining the practicality and versatility of the five-door hatchback.

The 4250 mm long pro_cee’d delivers class-leading passenger and luggage space. The cee’d family wheelbase (2650 mm) is retained, so despite its lowered, sporty appearance, pro_cee’d provides generous legroom front and rear, and luggage capacity with the rear seats upright matches the five-door model.

“With the pro_cee’d we have communicated sportiness mostly through the car’s exterior design,” explains Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer Kia Motors Europe. “At the front, we have extended the nose by 10 mm and introduced a shallower grille, new-style headlamps, a wider, lower bumper with a prominent lip spoiler, a deeper central air intake and larger fog lights set in elliptical depressions.

“It is the side profile that makes pro_cee’d truly distinctive. The windscreen is much shallower and the vehicle height is reduced by 30 mm. The doors, which are 276 mm longer than the front doors of the five-door cee’d model, have a unique design with a more prominent swage line that highlights the sporty character of this model and a beltline that rises much more steeply towards the rear of the car.

“The side window, C-Pillar and tailgate spoiler are all new and although the rear screen is steeply raked, rear headroom remains good. Unlike other cee’d models, the exhaust tailpipe on the pro_cee’d is boldly displayed,” concludes Guillaume.

The larger pro_cee’d doors with their extra-wide 70 degree openings ensure good access to the rear seats. To boost practicality, Kia’s designers re-styled the rear seat cushion, which is now fixed, and re-engineered the 60/40 split backrest so that it is easy to release and simply folds down onto the cushion with no need to remove the head restraints.

With pro_cee’d, Kia is offering customers the full choice of cee’d family powertrains – five Euro4 compliant engines, with power outputs covering a 90 ps to 143 ps range, and three transmissions – as offered in the five-door hatchback and wagon models.

Like its siblings, pro_cee’d will also be available with three equipment levels plus 12 exterior colours and a wide range of optional extras – so that each customer can create a ‘personalised’ vehicle to suit their needs and tastes.

The optional Sports Pack, which comprises 17-inch alloy wheels with 225/45 R17 tyres, stiffer dampers, sport-concept interior trim (with ‘tyre-track’ pattern fabric and silver stitching, plus alloy pedals and stainless-steel door-scuff plates) is expected to be a popular choice with pro_cee’d buyers.

The 19-model line-up of three-door hatchbacks is scheduled to go on sale early next year.

Watch this space for more Gizmag updates from the floor of the Frankfurt International Motor Show.