A set of fresh new teaser sketches for the upcoming 2017 Kia Rio has been handed down today, just hours after revealing spy photos first hit the wire.
As those earlier shots hinted and these new sketches confirm, the face of the new 2017 Rio will borrow design cues from its larger Optima stablemate.
A broader and more letterbox-like version of Kia's 'tiger nose' grille design will feature, above a much more prominent main grille. Tall fog-light housings and long angular headlights round out the front-end styling.
The profile hints at a longer and taller design than the outgoing Rio, which debuted at the 2011 Geneva motor show, suggesting that Kia is working to build an even larger gap between its light hatch and the smaller Picanto city car.
At the rear, a long D-pillar leads down to slender LED tail lamps, and the overall package - remembering that these are exaggerated teaser sketches - is rounded out with hugely flared arches over what might as well be 22-inch wheels. Standard teaser fare.
Our earlier photos show, of course, that the production Rio will be of a slightly narrower design, and we shouldn't expect available wheel sizes to go beyond 17 inches without heading out for an aftermarket tyres-and-rims package.
These new sketches also bring a first glimpse of the 2017 Rio's interior. Although only vague illustrations, it is clear Kia is pushing for a more upmarket look in the cabin of its next-generation light car. A large centre screen is shown here, flanked by air vents and set above a series of dials and toggles.
Watch for the new Rio to make its official debut at the Paris motor show in October, and for an Australian learn to occur early next year.
The new Rio's launch in Australia should bring renewed interest in the car, which, although popular in the past, is now comfortably outsold by the newer Mazda 2 - 8399 sales year-to-date at the end of July, compared to 4166 for the little Kia. Toyota's Yaris also remains popular, with 7436 sales year-to-date.
The Hyundai Accent, related to the Kia Rio under the skin, dominates the segment on 10,084 year-to-date. The Accent recently became Hyundai's only light car, with the old i20 retired and the new model not in line for an Australian launch.