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by Brett Davis

Kia has unveiled the all-new Kia K2 at Auto Shanghai 2011 motor show in China. The car is based on the new Kia Rio which was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, only the K2 was developed and engineered for the Chinese market.

Featuring a design layout that almost presents a miniature Kia Optima theme, the Kia K2 was designed as a joint venture between Kia and Kia’s Chinese subsidiary, Dongfeng Yueda Kia, and will be manufactured at its Jiangsu plant ready for the Chinese market in June this year.

With a number of medium-sized models already available from Kia, catering for various international markets, the Kia K2 shows the brand is keen on providing specific vehicles for the Chinese market as well.

The K2 will be available in six trim levels, offering two different engine variants; a 1.4-litre petrol outputting 79kW of power, and a 1.6-litre petrol outputting 90kW. Both will be available with either a manual or automatic transmission.

Hyoung-Keun Lee, Vice-Chairman of Kia Motors, spoke about the car at the Auto Shanghai press conference. He said,

“We are confident that this all-new model for China will provide the momentum needed for Kia not only to remain as one of China’s fastest growing automotive brands but also to become a top 10 automaker in the local market in terms of quality and customer satisfaction.”

As mentioned, the K2 will be available in the Chinese market from June this year. It will offer features such as a smart key with button engine start, a leather steering wheel, cloth door trims and something called a three-cylinder supervision instrument cluster.