The only car with an apostrophe in its name is getting ready to make the transition towards a third generation.

The second-generation Kia cee’d has been around since 2012, with a very subtle facelift launched last year. That’s why it comes as no surprise the Koreans are now out and about testing the next iteration of the compact hatchback, which by the looks of it will be a tad larger than the current model. The rear doors are slightly longer and we are also able to notice the shape of all side windows has been modified and the profile is now almost identical to its sister model, the 2017 Hyundai i30.

The prototype spotted in Germany appears to be carrying the production body, but we can’t make out all the details since there was a lot of camouflage masking the design. We do observe it appears to have a sportier front fascia with a larger lower grille and sleeker headlights, while the “tiger nose” grille has been reshaped. Moving at the back, the taillights have been redesigned and are probably slightly wider to further enhance the car’s increased footprint.

Even though it will be bigger, the 2018 Kia cee’d is likely to lose some weight taking into account the i30 is up to 28 kilograms (62 pounds) lighter than its predecessor and at the same time it’s also 22 percent more rigid.

2018 Kia cee'd spy photo
2016 Kia cee'd facelift


In terms of engines, these will be carried over from the aforementioned i30, so the smallest of them all is going to be a turbocharged three-cylinder 1.0-liter unit with 118 horsepower (88 kilowatts) and 125 pound-feet (170 Newton-meters) of torque. It’s already available in the outgoing cee’d alongside a naturally-aspirated 1.4-liter with 98 hp (73 kW) and 99 lb-ft (134 Nm) also powering the new i30, so it might solider on in the new cee’d as well to serve as the base engine.

What the current model doesn’t have is the new turbocharged 1.4-liter gasoline mill with 138 hp (103 kW) and 179 lb-ft (242 Nm), which made its debut on the new i30.

2018 Kia cee'd spy photo
2015 Kia cee'd facelift


On the diesel side, expect the new cee’d to get a 1.6-liter available in three outputs: 94 hp (70 kW), 109 hp (81 kW), and 134 hp (100 kW). Depending on engine selection, power will be channeled to the front axle through a standard six-speed manual gearbox or an optional dual-clutch, seven-speed automatic transmission.

The all-new Kia cee’d should debut as a hatchback in the latter part of 2017, so look for a premiere to occur in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The sporty three-door pro cee’d coupe and the more practical cee’d SW estate should follow several months later.

2018 Kia cee'd spy photo
2015 Kia cee'd facelift


Meanwhile, Kia is putting the finishing touches on its next-gen Picanto city car scheduled to debut early next year.

Photos: Automedia

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