Kia's Compact K2 Sedan Bows in Shanghai

Kia has been on an all-out product assault over the past two years, replacing nearly every model in its lineup while adding a few in the process. Today in Shanghai the automaker revealed its new Rio-based K2 sedan, giving us a sneak peek at the U.S.-spec model due to drop in New York tomorrow.

Kia is billing the K2 sedan as a Chinese-market offering, but we suspect the sedan shown may be closer to the U.S.-market Rio than the automaker wants us to believe. Kia notes the K2 shares the same platform as the Rio, but has been developed specifically for Chinese consumers.

Styling on the K2 falls into place with Kia's new corporate design language, featuring its "tiger nose" front grille. Proportions appear similar to the new Optima sedan, albeit a size or two smaller. Like the hatchback, mild yet stylish scallops are found on the door panels, with sharp lines found on the hood. The grille is taller, which fits well with the new headlamp enclosures that creep up the hood line. Its nose is fairly flat, but stylish L-shaped fog lamps provide some panache.

Interior design is said to take a driver-focused approach, while providing best-in-class space. Helping to achieve the added interior space, the K2's wheelbase has been lengthened to 101.2 inches - the longest in the segment according to the automaker.

Customers have the choice between a 107-horsepower 1.4-liter or 126-horsepower 1.6-liter I-4 engine. Power is sent to the front wheels through either manual or automatic transmissions, but Kia has yet to divulge the number of gears each option encompasses.

Chinese customers can expect to see the K2 sedan at local retailers starting in June followed by a hatchback in August. Kia plans to officially unveil its U.S.-spec Rio at the New York auto show tomorrow morning. Until then, what are your thoughts on the new K2?

Source: Kia

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