Kia Release Sketches of 2012 Rio Hatchback, will Debut in Geneva

Kia has big plans for this year's edition of the Geneva Salon as along with the 2012 Picanto city car, the South Korean automaker will also host the world premiere of the 2012 Rio supermini, the first official sketches of which were released today.

The company said that its Ford Fiesta rival is "designed to inject emotional appeal into the B-segment, targeting progressive, energetic consumers who want a stand-out design", adding that the new Rio's styling marks “the next big step” in the company’s ongoing design revolution.

But while it's obvious that the new Rio will be a more stylish proposal than the current model, our recent spy shots suggest that Kia's renderings aren't as close to reality as the company would like us to believe.

Kia also says that the Rio's interior will be more upscale offering "a feeling of quality typically associated with larger, more expensive models." In the teaser sketch we see that Kia will use colored trim throughout the cabin.

The firm's Director of Overseas Marketing, Soon-Nam Lee commented:

"Downsizing is becoming more and more of a trend these days and a B-segment car as attractive as all-new Rio, with its driver-oriented cabin and interior trim options, will no doubt help consumers to be more comfortable making that switch. New Rio is the ‘next big step’ in Kia’s design revolution and we anticipate this model becoming even more popular than the current vehicle."

Kia withheld details on the new Rio's powertrain lineup but buyers should expect a similar engine lineup to the Kia Venga and Hyundai ix20, including a choice of 1.4-liter and 1.6-liter diesel and gasoline units.

According to Kia, the current Rio was the firm's third best-selling vehicle in overseas markets during 2010 selling more than 205,000 units.