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Following roughly a year after the debut of the all-new Hyundai Accent, Kia will unveil its third-generation Rio sub-compact in early 2011. Set for a dramatic makeover (much like the Accent) the Rio will get styling inspired by the Forte and Forte Koupe as well as the new Optima Sedan.
Like the Accent power is expected to come from either a 1.4-liter 4-cylinder or a 1.6-liter four-banger when it first launches in its home market of South Korea. The 1.6-liter engine gets DOHC and variable valve technology to produce roughly 120-hp at 6300 rpm and 114 ft-lbs of torque, while the 1.4 delivers roughly 105-hp and 100 ft-lbs. Both engines come with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. Fuel economy with the smaller engine should be roughly 41-mpg with the manual and 38 mpg with the automatic. Different engine and transmission combos could be offered in North America, as we expect something better than a 4-speed auto-box.
Other new models set to join the Kia fold include a 5-door Forte hatchback. There’s speculation of an Optima Coupe and Optima Wagon as well, not to mention the Kia K9 luxury car based on the Hyundai Genesis rear-drive platform. And finally, there are continued rumors of a rear-drive Kia coupe based on the Genesis Coupe.