Although details remain scarce, the GT is mooted for a Paris motor show reveal this year. Its styling is said to be a combination of the four-door GT coupé concept and the Stinger compact coupé concept. It is intended to be a halo model for a wider range of GT-branded vehicles being developed by Kia.
Developed under the leadership of ex-BMW M boss Albert Biermann, the Rio GT is seen as crucial to establishing the reputation of the GT brand as a credible hot hatch maker. No technical details have been revealed, but the car is expected to get around 180bhp from a tuned 1.6-litre engine.
The Rio GT will sit on a fresh platform that will underpin the all-new standard car when it is launched in 2017. The new architecture is said to save weight and offer improved dynamic possibilities, and the interior and infotainment take what one insider described as “a quantum leap”. A range of new engines will also be used, including Kia’s ultra-frugal 1.0-litre petrol triple.
A new Picanto is also expected in 2017, but advances over today’s model are said to be more modest.