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Kia to Preview ’07 Cee’d Hatchbacks, Wagon at Paris Show

Kia Motors Corp. will unveil a “teaser” show car, dubbed the Pro Cee’d, at next week’s Paris auto show that previews the look of its upcoming 3-door sporty hatchback based on the Cee’d concept car revealed at this spring’s Geneva auto show.

The 3-door hatch currently is in pilot production and output of salable units will begin at the South Korean auto maker’s new Zilina, Slovakia, plant in December 2007. The Cee’d 5-door hatch, also debuting in Paris, has been in pilot production at the plant since July.

Additionally, Kia will unveil a pre-production Cee’d “sporty wagon” in Paris, with full production to get under way in mid-2007. The wagon will be available with five engines, three trim levels and 12 colors.

Gregory Guillaume, chief designer at Kia’s European design center in Russelsheim, Germany, says the 3-door hatch is the third in the all-new Cee’d car line designed specially for the European market.

“Like the 5-door Cee’d, the new 3-door sporty hatch will be a truly European product, designed in Europe and made in Europe,” Guillaume says in a press release.

“Whereas the 5-door is a great handling family car, this sporty hatch version is targeting younger drivers in search of a more overtly sporty look and sporty drive.”

Key attributes the show car and final production version have in common include the roofline, which is 1 in. (2.54 cm) lower than the 5-door hatch and shallow side windows ringed in chrome trim “to create a robustly sporty window graphic,” Guillaume says.

The 3-door show car accommodates four passengers and is trimmed to give a strong performance-car feel with deep matt surfaces, the auto maker says. The four seats feature bucket-style backrests with aluminum alloy mountings for the head restraints.

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