Kia has revealed a trio of special editions to celebrate its ongoing support of the Australian Open tennis tournament, headlined by a version of its Picanto baby hatch that has been administered a shot of SUV growth hormone.
Dubbed the Picanto X-Line AO, the special variant shares the major mechanical parts of the Picanto S including the 65kW 1.3-litre petrol engine and a choice of five-speed manual or four-speed auto, but is dressed up in a crossover’s clothes.
In place of more road-going suspension, the X-Line AO rides 15mm taller and on 16-inch alloy wheels for a more all-terrain ground clearance, while its unique bodykit adds fat bumpers with scratch guards, and more protective parts on the wheel arches and doors.
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For your $16,990 (or $17,990 for the auto), you also get more premium seats, steering wheel and shift knob, electrically folding door mirrors, LED daytime running lights and tail-lights, and dual exhaust tips, capped off with AO branding.
The South Korean car maker is also rolling out AO celebratory versions of its Sportage small SUV and Sorento large SUV, and all of this cross-pollination fun has reminded us of some of the previous brand tie-ups between car makers and companies that don’t make cars.
Browse our gallery at the top of the page of the 11 best (and perhaps funniest) car company collaborations in the gallery above.
Volkswagen Polo Beats
Most recently, Volkswagen introduced a version of its Polo small hatchback that leaned on the audio wizardry of Beats to install a 300-Watt sound system, as well as a flash of red on the outside to set it apart.
Bugatti Veyron Hermes
As if the mighty Bugatti Veyron wasn’t exclusive (or expensive) enough, the Italian car boutique released just four examples that had been ‘refined’ by the iconic fashion label Hermes.
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Nissan Pulsar Reebok
Snap up a 1990 Nissan Pulsar Reebok and you would have got this scorcher complete with side decals, but if you had hung on to the pair of Reebok Pump boots that were thrown in with the deal, it’s likely they would be worth more than the car these days.
Fiat 500 Gucci
Just 101 examples of the Fiat 500 Gucci came to Australia, bringing the flair of creative director Frida Giannini’s style.
Holden Barina Sportsgirl
Perhaps the lightest dusting of ‘extras’ to create a special edition, the Holden Barina Sportsgirl had unique floor mats, hubcaps, snazzy badging and a sunroof. That’s it. Oh and a $50 Sportsgirl voucher, but that’s probably expired by now.
Daihatsu Charade Mizuno Sports
Like a giant tennis shoe, Daihatsu’s vision in white teamed up with Japanese sports equipment label to create this lightly enhanced Charade. Several owners parked their cars in the snow and never found them again.
Ford Laser and Meteor Carla Zampatti
Italian-Australian fashion designer Carla Zampatti has contributed extensively to the Multicultural Foundation, Business Council, Sydney Dance Company and UTS Industry Advisory Board. But easily her greatest achievement was creating female-focused Laser and Meteor specials for Ford.
Ford LTD Cartier
Monaco, Paris, Milan, the royal family, wealthy celebrities, lavish parties and the 1979 Ford LTD. These are just some of the images conjured when you think of iconic French luxury brand Cartier.
Citroen C4 Cactus Rip Curl
Like a good layer of wax on your board, this special Rip Curl edition of the Citroen C4 Cactus introduced Grip Control electronics for more traction, as well as a handful of bespoke surfy styling tweaks.
Maserati Quattroporte Zegna
If American psycho Andrew Bateman drove a Quattroporte it would be this one. Enhanced by high-end Italian fashion brand Ermenegildo Zegna, the limited Maserati offered significantly more premium extras compared with some of the other sticker-pack specials here.
Volkswagen Golf GTI Adidas
Completing the trio of hatchbacks here that are named after sports shoes, Volkswagen’s 2010 Golf GTI Adidas had the unmistakable stripes applied to its sports seats, unique 18-inch wheels and pinched the smoked rear light lenses from the Golf R.