Kia Motors’ important new supermini challenger - the eventual replacement for the current Rio - will make its first appearance in four-door saloon form at the North American International Motor Show in Detroit in January.
Kia Motors has released the first official sketches and details of the company’s completely redesigned B-sector challenger from the ground up.
The all-new Rio-replacement will feature a longer wheelbase, a wider track and more horsepower than its predecessor, providing better handling, a smoother ride and improved levels of performance.
Kia’s Senior Executive Vice-President and COO Yong-Hwan Kim said: "Building on the overwhelming success of its predecessor, Kia’s replacement for the Rio is challenging the B-segment by establishing a new level of style, performance, and dependability that matches the needs of our young sporty customers."
The new car is also roomier than its predecessor, offering more front and back leg room and more overall comfort. The successor’s design is based upon the Kia Sport concept car that received positive reviews at the Paris Motor Show in September.
Paul Williams, Managing Director of Kia Motors (UK) Limited said: "The Rio has been and continues to be a winner amongst motorists who want a flexible package at a value price, but we are looking forward to the arrival of the new car in this country later in 2005 as it will complete our volume-sector range.
"The new car will follow on from Picanto and Cerato to give us a modern, attractive and excellent value range covering the biggest sectors of the UK market. We expect it to provide the backbone for our continued record-breaking growth in the UK. Although it will not arrive here until mid-year it will help us build from this year’s expected total of 33,000 cars to our target of 45,000 next year and more than 85,000 by 2007.
"The car shown at Detroit will just be a four-door saloon, but we shall be focusing on the five-door hatch as British consumers prefer the extra flexibility."
The four-door will be available in the North American market with a four cylinder 1.6-litre petrol engine that boasts additional torque and horsepower compared to its predecessor.
In Europe, three engines will be available - a 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre petrol engine and a 1.5-litre diesel engine. All other regions will have a 1.6-litre and 1.4-litre petrol option.
Mr Kim added: "Kia is excited about the prospects of the new car as it offers a complete package of driving excitement, quality and value, and we are looking forward to the world premiere of the new 5-door version at the Geneva Motor Show in March."Published 16 December 2004