2012 Kia K2 is a Rio-based sedan for the Chinese market

2012 Kia K2
2012 Kia K2

What you’re looking at may seem like the new 2011 Kia Optima – but it’s not. The model is actually the new Kia K2, which made its debut at the 2011 Shanghai Motor Show, a B-segment sedan developed specifically for the Chinese market.

Based on the same platform as the new Kia Rio, the Kia K2 is designed and engineered for China and will enter production at the company’s plant in Jiangsu province starting this June. A 5-door hatchback version will go into production 2 months later.

“We are confident that this all-new model for China will provide the momentum needed for Kia not only to remain as one of China’s fastest growing automotive brands but also to become a top 10 automaker in the local market in terms of quality and customer satisfaction,” said Hyoung-Keun Lee, Vice Chairman of Kia Motors.

The 2012 Kia K2 will be available in China in six trim levels and will be offered with a 1.4L or 1.6L gamma gasoline engine mated to a automatic or manual gearbox.

The Kia K2 will make its stateside debut as the Kia Rio sedan at the 2011 New York Auto Show.

Follow the jump for the press briefing.

2012 Kia K2:

2012 Kia K2 2012 Kia K2

Press Release:

Kia K2 heralds new Rio at Shanghai Show

  • All-new Rio based model developed specifically for Chinese consumers
  • Local production to commence in June 2011
  • K2 represents next phase in Kia’s localisation growth strategy

Kia Motors and its Chinese joint venture partner, Dongfeng Yueda Kia, unveiled the K2 B-segment sedan today at the 2011 Shanghai Motor Show – heralding the all-new Kia Rio due to arrive in Europe in the late summer.

Based on the platform of the all-new Rio, which made its world premiere at this year’s Geneva Motor Show in March, the new K2 was designed and engineered specifically for the Chinese market and will enter production at Dongfeng Yueda Kia’s manufacturing facility in Jiangsu province starting this June. A 5-door hatchback of version of the K2 will commence production in August of this year.

K2 will be positioned as a premium small car with advanced styling and upgraded levels of quality and performance, and is expected to be a highly competitive offering in a segment that accounts for 16 per cent of all new car sales in China.

K2 represents the next phase in Kia’s strategy to better satisfy customers in various regions of the world by developing and marketing products that reflect local tastes and needs. Following the introduction of the cee’d family of C-segment vehicles and Venga B-segment MPV, which were designed and engineered specifically for European customers, the new K2 is a clear sign of Kia’s commitment to become a leading automotive brand in China.

While sharing the same technical underpinnings as the all-new Rio, the K2 has been completely redesigned for the Chinese market, drawing on styling cues from the popular K5 sedan (known as ‘all-new Optima’ in many markets), including sophisticated lines that create a dynamic, bold and sophisticated exterior appearance.

The front view features Kia’s signature “tiger nose” radiator grille and exudes a high-tech and bold image thanks to the innovative fog lamp design, large air intake and dynamic swept back headlamps. A side character line, side air vent and trunk edge line add to the sporty image of the K2 while the rear view features a two-tone bumper and modern combination lamps.

The driver-focused futuristic interior conveys a spacious and comfortable feeling and drivers will enjoy a 3-cylinder supervision instrument cluster, cloth lined door panels, leather steering wheel, engine start-stop button and smart key.

Measuring 4,370 mm (overall length) by 1,700 mm (overall width) by 1,460 mm (overall height), the K2 is longer, wider and lower than the previous generation Rio and boasts the longest wheelbase (2,570 mm) in its class. The expanded dimensions allow K2 to claim best-in-class interior space and ample luggage capacity of 500 litres (VDA). Space utilisation is further enhanced thanks to the 60:40 split rear seat.

K2 will be available to Chinese customers in six trim levels with either a 1.4-litre or 1.6-litre Gamma petrol engine mated to a manual or automatic transmission.

– By: Omar Rana