Thursday, January 6, 2011

SCOOP: 2012 Kia Rio Spotted out on the Road


Like sister company Hyundai, Kia is in the midst of a new-product blitz that started a little over a year ago. Since the second half of 2009, the South Korean automaker has refreshed its lineup with a slew of new models such as the Forte Koup, Cadenza sedan, Venga mini MPV, Sorento, Sportage and Optima sedan.

Now, following the announcement on the completely redesigned Picanto city car that will break cover at the Geneva Show, our spy photographers snapped the next new model to be added to Kia's range, the 2012 Rio subcompact, while testing in Germany.

The prototype seen in these scoop photos is the five-door hatchback model, but the range will also include a four-door sedan. Although disguised, it's not hard to see that the new Rio 5d will be a more stylish proposal than the current model. From what's visible, the roofline looks more sloped while the front-end appears to feature a similar styling to the European market Picanto and Venga.

Underneath the skin, the new Rio will most likely share its platform with the latest Hyundai Accent, while powertrain options will depend on the market. In Europe, buyers should expect a similar engine lineup to the Kia Venga and Hyundai ix20, including a choice of 1.4-liter and 1.6-liter diesel and gasoline units.

Look out for an auto show debut later in the year, with sales kicking off in most markets before the end of 2011.



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