Not on the cards for us, though.
Well in advance of its scheduled March debut, Kia has pulled the wraps off a new, sharper variant of the Rio hatch, dubbed the Rio GT-Line. As the name suggests, the GT-Line introduces a plethora of performance-inspired design tweaks, though it also brings with it a selection of new technology to further tempt European buyers.
The Rio GT-Line benefits from exterior design flourishes like 17-inch alloys, ‘ice cube’ 4-point front fog lights, side skirts and rear bumper mouldings in gloss-black, an equally-dark set of door sills and rear spoiler, as well as dual exhaust tips.
The changes in the cabin are a tad more subtle, limited to a new flat-bottomed steering wheel with GT badging, black leatherette and cloth upholstery for the seats, a carbon-fibre-esque look for the dash, as well as metallic trim inserts dotted around the place.
Perhaps the most salient detail is the engine: At launch, the Rio GT-Line will debut with a 1.0-litre turbocharged direct-injection petrol mill, which puts out a fairly impressive 88kW and 171Nm. Power goes to the front-wheels of course, but the turbo mill gets mated exclusively to a six-speed manual transmission.
Later on, the GT-Line specification will also be made available for the 1.25-litre and 1.4-litre mills, and the option of a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic will also come online.
Disappointingly, Kia Australia has communicated that the Rio GT-Line is not being considered for our market, as they intend to maintain the existing range (motivated by an atmo 1.4-litre petrol lump, with a four-speed automatic gearbox). However, Kia Oz managing directer Damien Meredith has intimated in the past that he would like to see a complete offering of variants for Australia, so perhaps the warm Rio GT-Line will make it here eventually. Fingers crossed.