2012 KIA RIO
Debuting locally in five-door hatch form in August, the new Rio is expected to continue the current model's role as Kia's volume-seller. It has lately been slowing in Kia showrooms though. In May, 587 Rios were sold, bested for Kia by the Cerato, on 649 sales.
The new Rio cannot come soon enough for Kia; the current model's May 2011 sales were well-eclipsed by its performance in the same period last year, when 2806 Rios found a new home.
Kia will also be looking to the Rio to make a strong impression in the wider light car segment, where Hyundai's soon-to-be-retired Getz held strong on 1730 sales in May, while the Mazda2 sold a solid 1040 units.
Speaking with TMR today, Kia Australia's Kevin Hepworth confirmed that the Rio will hit Australia in all-three bodystyles, although full local specifications will not be revealed until launch.
"We'll definitely see the five-door hatch at launch, which was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March," Mr Hepworth said.
"The three-door model will be unveiled internationally at Frankfurt in September, with both it and the sedan - shown in New York - to hit Australia early in 2012."
While supply continues to be an issue (albeit improving) for the popular Sportage and the new Optima sedan, Mr Hepworth said that the company's Australian arm is hopeful that the Rio will be a different story.
Local powertrains for the new Rio haven't been revealed, although it is likely that the top-shelf 1.4 litre petrol engine, producing 80kW and paired to six-speed manual and four-speed auto transmissions, will be the primary (if not the only) option for Australian buyers.
The Australian International Motor Show opens at 6pm on Friday 1 July and runs through until Sunday 10 July at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Other new models and concepts confirmed for the 2011 AIMS include the 2012 Subaru Impreza, Toyota Prius V and Prius C, the Suzuki Swift S-Concept, the Peugeot 508, the Range Rover Evoque, the Toyota FT-86 II Concept, the 2012 Audi A6 and the 2012 Jaguar XF.
Appearances have also been confirmed for the all-new Lamborghini Aventador, the Lexus LF-Gh concept, the Mazda Shinari concept, and a preview of Australian carmaker JOSS Developments' upcoming JT1 supercar.