Rio Becomes Kia’s First Mild-Hybrid Vehicle, Coming Later This Year

New version of the Kia Rio to get a mild-hybrid system 12 photos
Photo: Kia
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In production since 1999, Kia's Rio B-segment car has established a strong foothold, especially in Europe. Not strong enough for Kia, though, as the South Koreans announced a major update for the model on Tuesday (May 26), meant to “reinvigorate the car’s position.”
The biggest change is the introduction of a mild-hybrid system into the mix. By all intents and purposes, this is Kia’s first deployment of such a technology on one of its gasoline-powered cars, but also a thing it’s likely we’ll see on more and more models in the years to come.

The mild-hybrid combo, called EcoDynamics+ in Kia speak, comprises a new Smartstream 1.0-liter T-GDi gasoline engine and a 48V system that should cut emission levels by between 8.1 percent and 10.7 percent, as measured under the NEDC combined cycle.

The new Smartstream will also replace the Kappa engine used until now, and even if it doesn’t bring any increase in power (it develops the same 100 or 120 ps, depending on configuration), it should provide 16 percent more torque for the more powerful variant, namely 200 Nm.

Other changes in the Rio range, which should become available on the Old Continent in the third quarter of the year, include the launch of the new variant of the UVO Connect telematics system, some design revisions to the exterior, and a revamped interior. New driver assistance features are also to be thrown in the mix.

“The Rio is an important car for Kia in Europe and worldwide, and is an entry point into the Kia brand for many drivers,” said in a statement Emilio Herrera, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe.

"The upgraded model builds on the car’s key strengths – practicality, quality and technology – with newly electrified powertrains, a refreshed design, and advanced safety and telematics features often found in cars many segments above. We are convinced these upgrades will make the Rio more successful than ever.”

Full details on the changes made to the Rio can be found in the press release section below.
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Press Release
About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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