Auto Manifesto

February 5, 2009

A Kia Powered by Honda?

Last weekend I took a road trip and rented a car. I was provided with a Kia Rondo, a quirky odd-looking mix of a minivan and station wagon. It was surprisingly roomy inside and had good highway performance. I was also pleasantly surprised by the thoughtful interior which was full of bins and storage compartments

After the trip I looked up the specs and realized it's powered by a 2.7 liter V6. The first thing that came to mind was the original Acura Legend (1986-1990). When I looked up the bore and stroke measurements I found the Rondo engine has an identical stroke (75.0 m) to the orginal Legend, and nearly identical bore (86.7 mm vs. 87.0 mm).

While the Rondo is equipped with a DOHC cylinder head design and the Legend a SOHC, it appears that perhaps the Rondo powerplant is based on the Acura. Did Kia obtain the tooling from Honda and use it as the basis for their design? Perhaps they bought it for a song and subsequently were able to drastically reduce their R&D cost? Might that help explain their low pricing (about $18k sticker price)?

Apparently the second generation Legend was built under license by Daewoo for the Asian market from 1993-2000. I didn't delve deeper into the specs of the engines I mentioned earlier so it could just be coincidence. But it's also quite plausible that Kia bought Honda's old tooling or design and is still making a version of that engine.

Kia Rondo info:

Honda Legend info:

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home