Kia has launched European production of the new generation Sportage model. For the first time in history, there is a specification specially adapted for Europe.
The Žilina factory of the Kia carmaker is already mass-producing a new, already the fifth generation of the compact SUV Sportage. For the first time in history, the car will also be offered in the form of a plug-in hybrid. But that will not be the only change in the news.
For the first time in its 28-year history, Sportage presents itself in a version specially adapted to European clients. The option for global markets looks practically the same, but is longer. While the European specification measures 4,515 mm in length and has a wheelbase of 2,680 mm, the global derivative is even 4,660 mm long, with a wheelbase of 2,755 mm.
The reason for this step is undoubtedly the fact that the Sportage is currently the most popular model of the Kia brand in Europe. The current fourth generation alone has produced over one million units in Žilina since 2015. However, as a global model, the car was also manufactured in China or home South Korea.
Sportage for European markets has been produced in Žilina since 2006, ie since the opening of this Slovak plant. More than two million copies of this SUV have already left the Slovak factory, of which 104,500 were the second generation and 797,500 were the third generation. The very first Sportage was produced at a time when the Slovak Kie plant did not yet exist.
However, the European Sportage specification is not the only novelty of the new generation of this car. For the first time in history, the model will also be available in the form of a plug-in hybrid, but it will not expand its portfolio until 2022. However, there will be more electrified variants, and a mildhybrid and hybrid will also be available.
It is the wide range of engines (various gearboxes or front and all-wheel drive) and the wider possibilities of individualisation (a two-color body is available for the first time) that the production has had to adapt to, which is therefore flexible enough.