Maybe if it did more than 0-62 in 15 seconds....
Well, I do like the wheel design better, but something tells me they're not forged. (I promise no pun was intended, but I did catch in preview)Rio goes for Rex
By JAMES STANFORD
IT MAKES people do double takes, but don't think the Sport-Pac Kia Rio can outrun the law. The new Rio may look like a Subaru Impreza WRX Sti, but it concedes 124kW of power and 211Nm of torque.
And it drives through two wheels, not four. The sales and marketing personnel at Kia's importer, Ateco Automotive, have come up with the kit and it has worked the brand's dealers into a frenzy.
The Sport-Pac adds $3000 to the price of a regular Rio ($14,990 drive away).
It comes with Pedders sports suspension along with the body kit and a non-functional bonnet scoop.
The sporty Rio runs the regular 71kW 1.5-litre engine and takes 15 seconds to go from 0-100km/h.
By comparison, the $55,130 four-wheel-drive turbo WRX STi that it mimics has 195kW and can dash from 0-100km/h in 5.5 seconds.
On the STi the scoop forces air into the intercooler to feed the turbo, but the Rio's scoop is just there to look cool.
The Rio also has what is described as "a World Rally Championship-style rear wing", even though Kia does not have much of a rally heritage, or even a car in the WRC.
Subaru spokesman David Rowley says: "We are confident that people will be able to distinguish between this car and the WRX. For a start, there is a slight difference in the acceleration figures.
"All I can say is that imitation is a serious form of flattery."
Kia says it did not intend to model its Sport-Pac on the Subaru WRX.
Kia spokesman Edward Rowe says: "It's just a coincidence."
He says the sporty Rio has been designed to mimic all rally cars, not just the Subaru.
"Subaru, Citroen and Ford all have cars in the WRC with wings and scoops like that, not just Subaru," Rowe says.
Kia is confident the Sport-Pac will be popular with young people who want a car that looks fast but who can't afford to buy or maintain a car such as a WRX or a Lancer EVO.
"This conversion won't affect people's insurance premiums and that is quite important for people who are 25," Rowe says.
"It is also very affordable."