Here’s a surprise – the new Kia Picanto is on display at the Red Cube Johor Bahru showroom in Plentong. The third-generation city car, codenamed JA, is set to go on sale here next year.

The unit shown here is decked out in sporty GT Line trim, which adds more aggressive front and rear bumpers, deeper side skirts and a gloss black rear diffuser with twin exhaust exits. There are also 16-inch two-tone alloy wheels, an inch larger than what the previous TA model was offered with.

The display car is packed to the gills with kit, including automatic halogen projector headlights with LED daytime running lights, LED tail lights, keyless entry, push-button start, six airbags and stability control, all of which were offered on the outgoing model.

On top of those are new features like part-leather upholstery, cruise control, a navigation system with a seven-inch touchscreen, a reverse camera, automatic climate control, a sunroof, a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) and even autonomous emergency braking (AEB). However, don’t expect all of these to be featured on local units – this is, after all, a car that will be playing in a price-sensitive market.

Power should come from a the same 1.25 litre naturally-aspirated DOHC four-cylinder engine as before, making 83 hp at 6,000 rpm and 122 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm, matched to a four-speed automatic transmission. Naza Kia previously sold the TA with a five-speed manual option, but a low take-up rate means that it’s unlikely to be offered again.

No information on pricing has been released as yet, but expect the new Picanto to carry a slight premium over its predecessor, which retailed at RM61,888 on-the-road with insurance.