Sporty hatchback to debut in Geneva
The Kia Rio GT-Line has been revealed ahead of its debut at the Geneva motor show in March, ahead of a European introduction in the coming months.
Headlining the new variant is an array of sport-themed styling and equipment upgrades inside and out, along with the debut of lane-keep assist in the Rio range - which will be available to European customers from the third quarter of 2018.
Externally, there's 'ice cube' quad-LED fog-lights up front, new 17-inch alloy wheels, a more aggressive body kit, dual exhaust tips, a gloss-black roof spoiler and gloss-black window sill highlights.
Inside, there's unique black leatherette/cloth seats with grey stitching, a new D-shaped leather steering wheel with GT badging, metallic inserts around the door switches and gear lever, along with a carbon-fibre-look dashboard trim.
At launch, the Rio GT-Line will be fitted with the company's 88kW/171Nm 1.0-litre T-GDi three-cylinder turbo, mated exclusively to a six-speed manual.
From the third quarter of 2018, the GT-Line specification will be offered with the Rio's 1.25-litre and 1.4-litre petrol engines, and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Unfortunately, it appears unlikely the Rio GT-Line will make it to Australia, with the local arm saying it has no plans to introduce the new variant at this stage.
However, there could be some hope. Speaking with CarAdvice in October, Kia Australia's chief operations officer Damien Meredith was clear in his aims for more stylish variants in Australia.
"Look, we'd like to have a GT-line model at the top of every range," Meredith said at the local launch of the updated Sorento.