- Newest edition of global top seller to be launched at Paris Motor Show
- Restyled vehicle designed to maximize appeal in Europe
SEOUL 17 September 2002 - Kia Motors Corporation will launch the latest version of its popular Rio small car at this year`s Paris Motor Show on September 26. The new car has been substantially restyled to appeal to European consumers and features improved safety specifications and better performance along with a full range of comfort and convenience features.
The Rio has been Kia Motors` top selling export vehicle since January 2001, when it overtook the popular Sportage for the first time. In 2001, the Rio sold 123,372 units in overseas markets, a 64% increase over the previous year and eclipsing the record of 110,195 units set by the Sportage that year.
The New Rio is predominantly an export model aimed at European consumers in the 25-35 age range who enjoy a fairly active lifestyle and are both economically sensitive and appearance conscious. The Rio will appeal particularly to young families with up to two children and young first time buyers.
Safety was a key focus, despite the Rio`s already impressive safety ratings. Consumer research conducted by Kia revealed that, for small car owners, safety was an important area of concern.
The addition of optional curtain type side air bags, improved braking performance, height adjustable seatbelts and a solidly reinforced bodyshell make the Rio one of the safest vehicles in its class.
As its name implies, though, the Rio is conceived first and foremost to be fun to drive. The restyled exterior is the most immediately obvious change, with smooth aerodynamic lines and a zesty front end featuring wider headlamps and a restyled radiator grille.
Chiselled character lines and a stylish rear-end give the Rio increased flair and visual appeal.
The original Rio marked a styling watershed for Kia, and the new version of the popular car follows in the same tradition. With an exterior by Min-ho Gho and an interior by Sae-young Song, the new Rio brings together the same team that designed the original vehicle.
The New Rio is available in four and five door versions, each with two trim levels. Both cars come with a choice of two gasoline engines, a 1.3 SOHC gasoline engine that provides 81ps and 116Nm of torque and a 1.5 DOHC gasoline engine that provides 97ps and 132Nm of torque. A choice of a four speed automatic or a five speed manual transmission is offered for each engine.
Kia Motors chief Operating Officer Mark Juhn said, "The Rio is the latest in a line of vehicles designed for European tastes. The New Carens and the Sorento are already proving very popular and we expect that the New Rio will further enhance the reputation of Kia automobiles for providing quality, value and a fun driving experience."
Founded in 1944, Kia Motors Corporation (www.kia.co.kr) is Korea`s oldest manufacturer of automobiles. A part of the Hyundai Automobile Group, the company currently exports around 600,000 vehicles per year through a network of distributors that covers 160 countries. Kia Motors is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open.