- Everything has changed but the name… - More power, larger interior space, smoother ride, and better handling and fuel economy
(SEOUL) March 2, 2005 -- Kia’s all-new Rio five-door hatchback following the Rio four-door debut this year in Detroit made its world debut at the 75th Salon de L’Automobile in Geneva, Switzerland today when Kia Motors Corporation revealed its latest production model created especially with the European consumers in mind.
Although Kia has retained the old name, the new Rio is completely redesigned from the ground up to meet the current and future motoring needs of B-segment customers across the highly competitive European market.
“The new Rio is designed and engineered to offer customers more space, more power, higher performance, better handling, a smoother ride and enhanced fuel economy,” commented Kia Motors Senior Executive Vice President and COO, Mr. Yong Hwan Kim. “The new Rio is a ‘next-generation’ Kia which builds on the enormous progress we have made in the last two years with the Sorento, Picanto, Cerato and new Sportage. The new Rio is a high-quality rival to match or surpass the best B-Segment products from famous European brands.”
The new Rio line-up will feature a total of 20 models and customers can choose from two body styles (five-door hatchback and four-door sedan), three engines (including a sensational new 1.5-liter turbo diesel in some markets), manual or automatic transmission, two equipment levels (LX and EX), an extensive range of options and a selection of special ‘option packs’.
Styling & Design
Starting from a fresh beginning, Kia designers set out to create a new model that was ‘dynamic, youthful, aggressive, sporty and bold’, while encompassing the new Rio’s six core values ? style, comfort, performance, safety, refinement and convenience ? in an exciting and appropriate manner. Recent results from a customer clinic for the Rio indicated that the target audience (mainly 20 to 30- year olds) perceived the new Kia as ‘solid, strong and dynamic’.
Aerodynamically, the new Rio is highly efficient. The overall proportions ? deep front bumper, steeply raked windscreen, and sharply truncated tail (on the five-door) ? make the Rio highly streamlined. The shaping of the entire nose, door mirrors, A-Pillars and upper door frames, plus tight panel fit, resulted in a drag coefficient of Cd 0.32.
Class-leading Cabin Space
Taller (+50 mm), wider (+15 mm) and shorter (-250 mm in five-door form) than the model it replaces, the new Rio has a much longer wheelbase (+90 mm) and much improved packaging to offer significantly more cabin space than its predecessor and rivals. The skilful packaging also enables the Rio to be an ideally sized B-segment contender.
The generous interior dimensions are common to both the five-door and four-door Rios. The new model offers 1,005 mm of headroom at the front and 960 mm in the rear. Legroom is 1,085 mm (front) and 870 mm for rear seat occupants. Shoulder room is 1,360 mm for front seat occupants and 1,350 mm across the rear seat. Compared to the previous Rio, these new model dimensions are increased by between 2 mm and 83 mm, even though the new five-door model is 250 mm shorter than the vehicle it replaces. The new Rio’s interior dimensions make it clearly ‘best-in-class’ for roominess.
Best-in-class High Power Engines
The Rio is a new model that also comes with three new or fully-revised engines, each delivering ‘best-in-class’ power outputs ? up to 36% more than rivals. Kia’s all-new 1.5 CRDi diesel engine features common-rail technology and a variable geometry turbocharger (VGT). This new unit produces 110 ps (most rivals have 75 ps or less), and 22.0 kgm of torque at just 2,000 rpm. It has a CO2 rating of just 116 g/km and meets Euro 4 emissions criteria.
For customers who prefer gasoline, two 16-valve engines are available. The 1.6 brings continuously variable valve timing (CVVT) to the B-Segment of the market in a Kia for the first time. It produces 112 ps at 6,000 rpm and 14.9 kgm of torque at 4,500 rpm. The all-new 1.4-liter engine will make its world premiere in the new Rio. This unit generates 97 ps at 6,000 rpm and 12.8 kgm of torque at 4,700 rpm.
Better Handling with a Safe, Smooth Ride
The new Rio is fitted with a modern suspension system designed to deliver responsive handling and a supple, comfortable ride on pavement or dirt roads. Front McPherson Struts and a rear transverse torsion beam axle deliver optimal handling stability and a smooth ride. Anti-roll bars and gas-filled shock absorbers are standard fit both front and rear.
Every Rio has power-assisted rack and pinion steering and a small turning radius (less than 4.92 meters) for responsive, agile handling in city and country driving situations. The all-disc braking system has ventilated front and solid rear discs, to deliver secure and stable braking performance with consistent pedal feel. Four-channel ABS is standard fit with electronic brake force distribution (EBD).
Safety is a top priority for Kia and the new Rio is well equipped to cope with everyday motoring hazards. A broad range of passive safety measures includes dual front airbags, while side airbags, curtain airbags and ‘active’ head restraints are also available.
Top Value, High Quality Equipment
Kia has a reputation for providing excellent value for money, plus a wide range of high quality equipment. The new Rio enhances that tradition. The higher-specification EX model builds on the LX by adding numerous items, including: central locking, front and rear electric windows, height-adjustable driver’s seat with armrest, plus body color door mirrors and door handles. To boost the comfort and convenience of their new Rio still more, customers can choose from a range of special ‘option packs’ ? Metal Grain, Chrome Pack, Power Pack, Color Pack, Leather Pack and Sporty Pack.
Destined for Sale Success
“We designed the new Rio to meet the rising expectations of our European customers who expect more from Kia, with improved quality and a fresher appearance,” enthused Jean-Charles Lievens, Vice President of Kia Motors Europe. “We have created a superb compact car that is more stylish, more practical, more enjoyable to drive than its predecessor. Styled to attract image conscious, modern consumers, the new Rio hatchback is a car that perfectly matches Kia’s ‘exciting and enabling’ brand aspirations.”
The five-door hatchback and four-door sedan Rio models, which will go on sale across Europe this May and in North America during early summer, are destined to be immensely significant introductions for Kia in the hugely popular B-segment.
Kia is confident of achieving significant sales with the new Rio, with plans to sell 43,000 units in the European market and 28,000 units in the North American market in 2005 and to sell on average 50,000 units per year in North America and 45,000 units in Europe as the brand attracts more and more customers to its expanding dealer network.
Editors’ Note: Specifications and standard equipment may vary depending on country.
Kia Motors Corporation (www.kiamotors.com) -- the fastest growing automaker in the world -- was founded in 1944 and is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia aims to become one of the world’s premier automotive brands. Kia’s 16 manufacturing and assembly operations in 13 countries produce more than 1.1 million vehicles a year that are sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 190 countries. Kia today has 30,000 employees and annual revenues of $14 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and an official worldwide sponsor of the Davis Cup. Kia Motors Corporation’s brand slogan -- “The Power to Surprise” -- represents the company’s global commitment to surpassing customer expectations through continuous automotive innovation.