2011 SEMA Show: Kia Rio Surf Concept wants to conquer the waves

Article by Christian A., on November 2, 2011

The all-new 2012 Rio 5-door, which was launched for sale this month, continued Kia's design-led transformation with its class-leading fuel economy at 30/40 miles per gallon (city/highway) and first-rate styling. Kia has partnered with Antenna for the third consecutive year in order to develop specialty lifestyle automobiles like the Retro Surf Rio 5-door.

The vehicle is outfitted with all the things that a surfer needs to have a great time at the beach such as the authentic Grain wood surfboard mounted on the roof. With a modified suspension, the Rio 5-door has been lowered for more aggressive handling.

Its bold exterior design is accentuated by 17-inch three-piece gold wheels, a custom body kit with a front splitter made of wood to match the surfboard, a gorgeous sunset-metallic golden-brown paint scheme, and a refurbished rear fascia with center-mount dual exhaust. The seats and door panels are upholstered in beige and brown plaid boardshorts fabric.

Moreover, the wood grain center console brings the classic surfboard theme inside. For greater excitement under the sun, the rear center console has been transformed as a shelf to hold sunblock and other beach accessories.

A built-in towel rack is available on the dark brown suede headliner. The vehicle's huge rear hatch area has been equipped with juicing station, a turntable to play vinyl records, a retro iCade gaming console that plays 80s-style arcade games on an iPad, as well as shelves for sandals and clothing. These features are perfect for a night out on the beach with friends.

The 2012 Kia Rio -- the first non-hybrid or luxury vehicle to feature ISG technology -- is offered in three trims: LX, EX and SX. These models are powered by a 1.6-liter GDI four-cylinder with the option of either a six-speed manual gearbox (LX only) or efficient six-speed automatic transmission.

Starting with the Rio LX, the standard features consist of body-colored door handles, side mirrors, rear wiper and washer. It also features multi-reflector headlamps and ride on set of 15-inch steel wheels shod with 185/65R15 tires.

In addition, the Rio 5-door has been fitted with a standard rear spoiler for enhanced aerodynamics. The EX trim adds more standard conveniences like power door locks with keyless entry. The Rio EX also features a chrome front grille surround to add to the stylish and sleek appearance of the Rio.

On the other hand, SX trim rides on a set of standard 17-inch wheels shod with 205/45R17 tires. It also features LED accent lights and rear combination lamps and fog lamps. The SX trim dons dual chrome exhaust tips and power-folding outside heated mirrors with turn signal indicators.

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