The countdown is on for Kia's all-new 2012 Rio, set for a local sales debut in the third quarter of 2011. This week however, prospective buyers can get an early look at the new Rio at the Australian International Motor Show (AIMS) in Melbourne.
Shown at AIMS in five-door hatch form, the Rio will be offered locally with two powertrains: a 1.4 litre MPI DOHC CVVT four-cylinder petrol engine, and the company's larger 1.6 litre Gamma GDI four-cylinder petrol engine.
The 1.4 litre engine produces 79kW at 6300rpm and 135Nm of torque at 4200rpm. The larger 1.6 litre GDi engine however gets direct-injection to bring a 13 percent power improvement over the regular 1.6 Gamma engine.
Power for the GDi engine is listed at a sprightly 103kW at 6300rpm with 167Nm of torque at 4850rpm.
Suspension is managed by a MacPherson Strut setup at the front and a torsion beam axle at the rear, with disk brakes all around. Steering is electrically assisted, and the steering wheel is adjustable for both height and reach.
Overall, the 2012 Kia Rio is noticeably larger than the car presently on sale. The new Rio's wheelbase is 70mm longer, while the body is 20mm longer and 25mm wider. Interior space has grown as a result, with 45mm more front legroom and seven percent more luggage room.
Designed to compete in the growing light car segment with the Ford Fiesta, Hyundai i20 and Mazda2, Kia will be looking to the Rio - the brand's traditional volume seller - to make a big impact in 2012.
The all-new Rio will go on-sale late in the third quarter of this year in five-door hatch form, available in three specification levels.
The new Rio sedan and three-door hatch will go on sale in early 2012.
Final specifications and pricing will be announced closer to launch.