Kia has released the first images of its 2012 Rio hatchback ahead of its official Geneva Motor Show debut, and might we say, it's quite a looker. The Korean automaker has been doing some fantastic things with styling in the past few years – thanks in part to strong leadership from design director Peter Schreyer – and now the smaller Rio gets a healthy dose of modernity. It looks fantastic in these photos and we're eager to see the new angles and curves live in the metal.
The Rio will be offered with a range of gasoline and diesel powertrains in other markets, including a 1.1-liter diesel that only generates 85 g/km of CO2. We're most curious about the new 1.2-liter turbocharged direct-injected engine – we've heard about this three-cylinder powerplant before – and if it proves to be well-received in Europe, Kia will likely offer it here in the United States after the Rio's initial launch.
Look for the Rio to go on sale in the UK starting in September, with a three-door variant expected to launch in early 2012. We don't have any official word as to when we'll see the facelifted Rio here in the United States, but we'd guess that it'll arrive roughly around the same time as the Euro-spec version. Hit the jump for Kia's official release. Thanks to everyone for the tips!
Kia Motors has revealed the first photos of the next generation Rio, to be unveiled at Geneva Motorshow alongside the all new Picanto.
The Rio is the latest car to be revealed by Kia, boasting a bold and distinctive personality, bringing the newcomer in line with the rest of Kia's striking design-led passenger car range.
The Rio will be on sale in the UK from September as a 5-door version and a 3-door will be available from early 2012. Pricing and full range details will be announced nearer the on-sale date.
New Rio has its own interpretation of Kia's signature grille, integrated with the headlamps to give a new twist on the Kia family look. In profile, the body to glass ratio and its strong wedge form give new Rio a dynamic stance.
The new model features a wheelbase extended by 70 mm (to 2,570 mm) and promises greater passenger space and comfort, together with increased cargo capacity to 292 litres for the hatchback. Exterior dimensions changes include: +55 mm (overall length), -15 mm (height) and +25 mm (overall width).
Inside, the new model will deliver a high level of quality previously associated with larger models – together with a wide selection of trim options.
Kia's B-segment newcomer will be offered with an extensive range of fuel-efficient and low-CO2 petrol and diesel engines, depending on market – including a 1.1-litre diesel unit generating 70 ps, with CO2 emissions from as low as 85 g/km. An all-new, high-performance 1.2-litre Turbo Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) will also be available from 2012.
Soon-Nam Lee, Director of Overseas Marketing, Kia Motors Corporation, commented: "This new model is a big step forward. The Rio has always been successful, and with this new incarnation we have a car that people will want to buy for its looks." Since its launch in 2005, global sales of the current-generation Rio have totalled more than 860,000 units. It was the company's third best-selling vehicle in overseas markets during 2010 with sales of more than 219,000 units. UK sales from launch total 52,626 units.