The car, Yea added, was designed to meet worldwide demand for downsizing as fuel prices and other motoring expenses continued to rise; Kia's challenge to its competitors was a gradual upscaling of its vehicles' styling and sophistication with maximum possible depression of price.
PRETTY IN PINK: You won't be able to buy a Kia Rio dressed like this but the stripes do emphasise the fourth-generation cars' sporty character.
All models will be assembled in Korea, their engines the same as those in the Hyundai i20 – a 1.4 Gamma and a 1.25-litre Kappa generating respectively 80kW/135Nm and 66kW/121Nm. The narrow, seriously twisting roads around Lisbon don't allow spirited driving and in many places there's a 100m drop into the ocean, but Kia claims the 1.4 will reach 100km/h in 11.5sec and top out at 183km/h.
GETTING REAL: A stripeless 1.25-litre version of the fourth-generation Kia Rio takes a rest stop during the world launch in Portugal at Cabo da Roca. The lighthouse complex is on a cliff at the westernmost point of Europe. The 'tigers-eye' grill is a feature, the alloy rims an option.