Kia is developing CNG-equipped variants of Sonet as well as Carens, spy shots of both have surfaced online recently
Kia India hit yet another jackpot when it launched Carens earlier in February this year. The premium compact MPV is offered at a desirable price, making it more value for money than most of the other seven-seater vehicles in this space. It competes against the likes of Maruti Ertiga, XL6 and others in the space.
Thanks to a wide number of options, Carens registered over 50,000 bookings within 25 days of its launch. The Korean carmaker plans to expand this lineup by launching an additional CNG option of Carens. A test mule of a CNG-powered Carens has surfaced on the internet recently.
Kia Carens CNG Launch Soon
This spy shot comes after a test mule of Sonet was spotted with a factory-fitted CNG kit just a few days ago. The sole spy image shows an undisguised prototype of Carens with a CNG tank placed inside its boot along with the inlet nozzle that can be seen on the rear fender next to the fuel lid. There is no visible demarcation as the tailgate is wide open.
All exterior styling elements seen in the latest spy pic are similar to the regular IC engine-powered variants of Carens. Like its subcompact SUV sibling, Carens CNG will also be offered on the turbo petrol engine. This is confirmed by the registration sticker pasted on the rear quarter glass panel. It reveals that the SUV is powered by a 1.4-litre GDi turbo petrol motor paired with a 6-speed manual transmission.
In its standard form, this unit is good enough to push out 138 bhp at 6000rpm and a peak torque of 242 Nm at 1500-3200rpm. Needless to say, power and torque output will decrease when plugged with the CNG kit. This unit is also available with a 7-speed DCT automatic gearbox in Carens. However, in its CNG guise, only a manual transmission is expected to be offered which will keep the cost in check.
It remains to be seen if Kia will offer Carens CNG for private buyers or restrict the alternate fuel version for the commercial fleet. With soaring fuel prices, Kia should offer the CNG-powered version of Carens to the passenger vehicle market. When launched, Carens CNG is expected to be offered in multiple trim options
Kia Sonet CNG
A few days earlier, a test mule of Sonet with a CNG badge was also spied. In that case, the undisguised prototype of the subcompact SUV was powered by a 1.0-litre GDi turbo petrol motor. In its standard form, this engine pumps out 118 bhp and 172 Nm of peak torque but output figures will drop once a CNG kit is added.
In the subcompact SUV space, Maruti is reportedly preparing a CNG variant of the new-gen Brezza scheduled to go on sale by middle of this year. Even reports of Tata Motors developing a CNG-powered Nexon had surfaced last year. In the MPV space, Maruti has launched CNG variants of the facelifted Ertiga recently. Seeing Carens CNG, Maruti might fast-track plans to launch XL6 CNG.