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Trevor Collett | Aug 24, 2016

Kia has teased its all-new Rio light car for 2017, and announced that the covers will be coming off at this year’s Paris Motor Show.

The carmaker has released a trio of sketches in anticipation of the unveiling, which shows the new model is more of an evolution of the current look rather than a clean-sheet design.

Kia says the design is “progressive”, and is the work of the carmaker’s design teams in Germany, California and HQ in Korea.

There are changes, however, as one might expect from an all-new model and most are centred around the Rio’s sizing.

A longer wheelbase, more upright C-pillar, longer bonnet and longer front overhang potentially point to a roomier interior, a larger boot - or both.

The interior sketch shows a shift from the outgoing model’s look to one slightly more aligned with the Sportage SUV and Optima midsizer, perhaps suggesting a more upmarket interior for the new model.

Kia says drivers can expect class-leading practicality, the latest connectivity and safety tech, a better ride and improved handling characteristics.

To that end, a sporty Rio GT model is widely tipped to be joining the line-up when the new model hits the showrooms - and Kia may choose to debut the Rio GT in Paris.

Production for the 2017 Kia Rio will get underway towards the end of this year for European customers. Watch for an Australian debut sometime in 2017 - stay tuned to TMR for more.

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