The Korean manufacturer has just released the first official sketches of the all-new small car ahead of its world premiere at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show in March.
Spy photos captured late last year kept much of the styling under wraps, and even lowered our expectations of the final design, with 90s style rounded headlights fashioned into the protective covering.
Longer, lower and wider than the current model Rio, Kia describes the vehicle as a “powerful, bold design that marks the next big step in the company’s ongoing design revolution”.
Kia Motors Australia’s Kevin Hepworth confirmed the all-new Rio was about six months away from a local launch.
“We’re looking at early second half of the year … hopefully around July or August,” Mr Hepworth said.
He said no decision had been made on specification or pricing yet, but admitted the small hatch looks like a more expensive car with much more modern design.
It is expected the 2011 Rio will be better equipped and come at a higher price. The current model is one of the most inexpensive vehicles available in Australia, with prices starting at $13,490 drive away.
The Rio’s positioning will depend on whether or not Kia Australia decides to introduce the Picanto, which will debut alongside the Rio at Geneva.
Mr Hepworth confirmed no further progress had been made on Picanto for Australia, but admitted it was still “definitely being looked at”.