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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.
Several weeks ago we brought you a story about the possibility of a Kia Optima Coupe. Now, thanks to the folks at InsideLine, we have a few renderings of what that car might look like. And as we expected, it’s a stunner.
Having just launched the Optima Sedan at the New York Auto Show, a coupe model isn’t that unlikely. After all, both Honda and Nissan offer coupe versions of their mid-size sedans. And despite being front-wheel drive, we’d still really like to get our hands on an Optima Coupe with the company’s new 274-hp turbocharged 4-cylinder engine.
Rumors of the coupe originate from Kia designer Peter Schreyer, who confirmed a wagon model was coming (but possibly only for Europe). “I would love to do station wagon and coupé versions of the car. The station wagon would only really work for Europe but the coupé would work in the U.S.,” he said.
Only time will tell if Kia decides to move ahead with this project. In the mean time, check out a few more renderings after the jump:
Plus, say up to date on Kia Optima news and reviews at OptimaForums.com
Kia will build a wagon version of the newly unveiled Optima sedan for the European market and is considering a Coupe. In an interview with the U.K.’s AutoCar, top Kia designer Peter Schreyer confirmed the wagon (or Estate as its likely to be called in Europe) and hinted at a coupe.
“I would love to do station wagon and coupé versions of the car. The station wagon would only really work for Europe but the coupé would work in the U.S.,” he said.
A coupe model wouldn’t be as surprising as it seems at first, as the car would have competition from the likes of the Honda Accord Coupe and Nissan Altima Coupe. And with Kia announcing a new 274-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine in the sedan at the New York Auto Show, it would definitely make for an attractive package.
And with Kia and Hyundai sharing platform, does this mean a Sonata Coupe and Wagon are on their way too?
GALLERY: 2011 Kia Optima