Kia is adding a bi-fuel version to its Picanto range in Europe – the Picanto LPG makes its debut in Frankfurt, and will go on sale later this year in Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Poland, Greece, Portugal and the Netherlands.
It’s powered by a special version of the automaker’s three-cylinder 1.0 litre Kappa engine, which offers 67 PS and 90 Nm. To process LPG, the engine is fitted with an additional fuel system featuring a solenoid valve, a vaporiser (which turns the liquid LPG into a gas by reducing its pressure by 0.7 Bar), a gas filter and an injector module.
The car has two fuel tanks – a 35 litre gas tank in the regular position ahead of the rear axle and a 27 litre pressurised LPG tank located beneath the trunk floor in the space previously occupied by the spare wheel; a tyre-mobility kit replaces the spare tyre. The LPG tank and system equipment adds 51 kg to the Picanto’s weight.
The driver can switch from gasoline to LPG (and vice-versa) by simply pressing a button on the dashboard. Apart from the addition of the fuel selector button, the only other change inside the Picanto LPG is the fitting of a new instrument cluster with two fuel gauges (gasoline and LPG) as well as two ‘low-fuel’ warning lamps.
Performance specs include a 0-100 km/h time of 14.5 seconds and a 150 km/h top speed, the last identical to the standard 1.0 petrol variant. Fuel economy in LPG mode is a quoted 5.8 litres per 100 km, with versions equipped with automatic stop-start (ISG) offering an even better 5.6 litres per 100 km.