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Initial Australian specifications for the all-new 2017 Kia Rio range have been confirmed today, including drivetrain and variant line-up, before it launches here in early 2017.

With the fourth-generation Kia Rio having officially launched at the Paris Motor show today, Kia Australia has confirmed that it will initially take one engine and three variants of the model before additional variants of the South Korean company’s new light car launch by the middle of next year.

The local arm has confirmed that it will take the Kia Rio in S, Si and SLi trim, with the first available with a six-speed manual. The Si and SLi will make do with a four-speed automatic transmission as standard (Si can be special ordered with a manual).

All three variants are powered by a 1.4-litre 73kW four-cylinder engine with 132Nm of torque.

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Come mid 2017, the addition of the 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine will also see the introduction of the autonomous emergency breaking (AEB) technology.

The three-cylinder motor will be available with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. The turbocharged unit will produce 88kW of power and 172Nm of torque.

At the same time as the new 1.0L engine is introduced, Kia plans to upgrade the four-speed automatic of the new 1.4-litre models to a six-speed, meaning that the initial six-month delivery of the first batch of Rios will be the only cars with a four-speed unit. Nonetheless, AEB will still only be available with the 1L engine variants and not on the 1.4s.

Kia Australia will also opt not to reintroduce the three-door model Rio with the new generation, with the outgoing model having had the majority of its sales come from the five-door variant (the three door Rio was discontinued in 2015). By that same reasoning, the brand also elected to wait and launch the 1.0L turbocharged engine with the seven-speed DCT mid next year, rather than launch it with manual-only option.

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Although pricing is yet to be confirmed, CarAdvice believes the new Rio will stay consistent with the current model, with a starting price of around $16,990, to position it in the middle of the $14,990 Picanto light car and the $18,990 Cerato small car.

Full local specification of the variant breakdown remains unclear at this time, however some of the standard specification includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto across the entire range, which sees even the base S model gain a 5-inch floating touchscreen capable of running both systems. The Si and SLi variants get a larger 7.0-inch screen with built in sat-nav as well as smartphone integration.

There will be no full-size spare as standard equipment, with Kia opting for a space-saver with the full-size available as an optional accessory.

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So far in 2016, the current Kia Rio has managed an average of 580 sales per month, however the company plans to push sales closer to 1000 units per month with the new models introduction, which alongside the Cerato (1072/m average) and Sportage (902/m average), should see Kia Australia manage close to 40,000 cars per annum just on those models alone.

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