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As stylish as the current generation Kia Rio is, there’s a replacement waiting in the wings, and our spy photographers have snapped a heavily disguised version of the next-generation hatchback as its heads out onto the open road for some real-world testing.

Although it’s hard to see too many specific details about the look of the next-generation city car, it looks as though the new hatch may feature slightly softer, more organic forms than the current vehicle.

kia-rio-5-side

The side window line is slightly upswept, and there’s a character line running along the flanks. At the front, the headlights have been slimmed down. The new Rio will also ditch the current generation’s flagpole-style wing mirrors and front quarter light.

It’s not clear which motors will power the next-generation Rio, but Hyundai’s latest engines, such as the new 88kW/172Nm 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine in recently revealed Hyundai i20 Sport, may figure into Kia’s plans.

Other engines available in the second-generation European Hyundai i20 include 55kW/180Nm 1.1-litre and a 66kW/240Nm 1.4-litre turbo-diesels. Petrol options include a 62kW/122Nm 1.3-litre engine and 74kW/134Nm 1.4-litre.

kia-rio-7-rear

Rumours indicate that the new Rio won’t make its full public debut until the latter part of 2016, meaning that it won’t reach Australian showrooms until some time in 2017.




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