Following a five year product cycle, the Kia Rio is slated for an all-new model by next year and our spy photographers have snapped the fourth-generation model will less camouflage. Our spies noted that this particular test car has a slightly different look which meaning a high-performance model will be part of the Rio's lineup once unveiled.
In the past, rumors have persisted that a hot hatch version of the Rio will come out by the current generation. Once revealed, it will be Kia's first hot hatchback in the B-segment with the Pro Cee'd GT being the automaker's first. From these photos, signature Kia styling cues remain such as the upswept headlights, large lower air intake and the brand's “Tiger Nose” grill. One clue that this is the high-performance version of the Rio can be seen in its headlights. Other test mules were spotted with no LED daytime running lights while this one is equipped.
A closer look at the lower air intake also suggests that the Kia Rio GT will be turbocharged as seen in the upright intercooler. Kia currently adapts this style of intercooler in the Optima Turbo. Another indicator that this is a sporting model are the LED tail lights which were not present in the previous spy photos.
Since it will be a performance oriented model, power will most likely come from the Hyundai-Kia 1.6 Gamma series engine. This particular engine is currently used in the Hyundai Veloster, Hyundai I30 and the Kia Pro Cee'd GT. The 1.6 Gamma T-GDI has two available power outputs with one rated at 186 PS and 265 Nm of torque and the other at 204 PS and 265 Nm of torque. It is possible that the Rio GT will get the version with the smaller power output.