Will debut late September at the Paris Motor Show.

One might be tempted to say it’s the GT version of Kia’s upcoming fourth-gen supermini, but the small steel wheels and the lack of dual exhaust tips suggest otherwise. In addition, the car doesn’t seem to feature a sportier suspension setup, so we are inclined to believe it’s just a prototype of the regular model with less disguise than before to reveal what will be an interesting front fascia. We are not excluding the possibility of this being the GT Line version, bringing the looks of the full-blown GT with the engines of the regular model. But that might not be the case taking into account the cee’d GT Line has two exhaust tips, even though it’s only available with the lesser engines.

It appears the new Kia Rio will be significantly bigger than the outgoing model and it will have a longer wheelbase which should translate into more legroom for passengers sitting in the back. Although the prototype is clad in camouflage, we can already notice the design is going to be significantly different, with an aggressive front fascia and U-shaped LED daytime running lights. The rear end remains mostly hidden underneath the disguise, but even so we can check out the graphics of the taillights which will partially use LEDs.

The next-gen Kia Rio will source many of its bits and pieces from sister model Hyundai i20, so it will likely be offered with a turbocharged three-cylinder, 1.0-liter unit available in 100 & 120 hp flavors. Rumor has it Kia is also cooking up a range-topping GT with a turbo 1.6-liter from the cee’d GT, but de-tuned to somewhere in the region of 180 hp (134 kW). On the diesel side, chances are it will get the i20’s 75-hp 1.1-liter and 90-hp 1.4-liter CRDi units.

The regular fourth-generation Rio will be introduced at the Paris Motor Show late September, so expect teasers to arrive very soon. The GT Line model will likely be available from day one, while the GT (if there will actually be one) is not expected until at least 2018. What we do know for sure is that Kia is planning a Rio-based subcompact crossover which has already been confirmed for a 2017 launch.

Gallery: 2017 Kia Rio spy photos

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