Corporate / Product

Kia drafts the all-new Borrego as the “sixth man” in an all-star world debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit January 14th, 2008

Amy TaylorBy Amy Taylor
Public Relations Manager
Kia Motors America

The team at Kia Motors America (KMA) has been hustling this past week getting ready for two big “games.”  On Thursday, January 10, KMA and the National Basketball Association (NBA) held a news conference in New York to announce that Kia Motors is now the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA.  This is the first time KMA has entered into a multi-year marketing partnership with any sports league.

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KMA President and CEO Len Hunt was on-hand with NBA Commissioner David Stern to kick off this momentous announcement, which includes Kia being the sole sponsor of the NBA Performance Awards.  The Performance Awards include the season MVP, Sixth Man Award, Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player Award and the Eastern Conference and Western Conference Player of the Month Awards.  KMA will present a brand-new 2009 Kia Borrego to the charity of choice of each of the season Performance Award winners.

Speaking of Borrego, the KMA team continued on its road trip to Detroit for the North American International Auto Show and the world auto show debut of the Kia Borrego seven-passenger SUV, inspired by Kia’s “less is more” design philosophy.

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According to Tom Kearns, Kia’s U.S. chief designer, the Borrego is like “a fist in the wind,” and it’s easy to see why with its muscular exterior defined by its flared back headlamps and the strong presence projected by its upright grille and chiseled hood.

Inside, Borrego is ready to entertain with an in-dash, six-disc CD changer powered by a 600-watt Infinity® audio system, standard USB/iPod capabilities and SIRIUS Satellite Radio (Borrego will be the first Kia vehicle to offer SIRIUS as part of the partnership with the satellite radio company).  Borrego also offers power-adjustable pedals and Kia’s first DVD navigation system as optional equipment, as well as a back-up warning system with a rear camera display.  While Borrego is ready to haul seven passengers at any time, if you need to haul cargo instead of people, the second and third row seats fold flat to optimize cargo space.

As Kia’s most powerful vehicle, Borrego is offered with a 3.8-liter V6 as well as Kia’s first 4.6-liter V8 DOHC engine, the latter producing more than 300-horsepower.  Also unique to Borrego and new to Kia is the six-speed automatic transmission mated to the V8 engine.  Offered in two- and four-wheel drive, with class-leading towing capacity of 7,500 pounds when partnered to the V8, 5,000 pounds with the V6, the midsize SUV offers unmatched capabilities for a weekend of camping and off-roading, just as much as a sophisticated night on the town.

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In true Kia style, safety rules when it came to designing the Borrego, which continues to offer the same unprecedented level of standard safety equipment as all Kia vehicles, including:  advanced two-stage airbags, full-length side curtain airbags for all three rows, four-wheel disc brakes with an antilock brake system (ABS), electronic brake distribution (EBD), brake assist system (BAS), electronic stability control (ESC), traction control (TCS) and a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS).  Borrego also offers downhill assist control (DAC), which keeps the vehicle moving straight and steady down steep grades and helps to keep the wheels from locking, as well as hill assist control (HAC), which helps the driver move up steep inclines without fishtailing or allows the vehicle to stop uphill without sliding backward.  Both functions are new to Kia.

The show in Detroit didn’t end with just Borrego.  The Kee concept car made a special appearance with its North American debut.  The special appearances kept coming when five legendary NBA players joined Len Hunt onstage to celebrate the NBA partnership.  Basketball greats George Gervin, Willis Reed, Bill Walton, Spud Webb and Dominique Wilkins played with the audience and sent some autographed balls into the crowd, a priceless souvenir for some lucky attendees.

As Kia wraps up this road trip, the team will head home to Irvine, Calif. to prepare for their next trip to New York for the New York International Auto Show and the big home game – the grand opening of Kia’s first U.S. design center later this spring.  Keep watching for updates on this exciting “New World of Kia” season.