These leaked and spied shots are of the yet to be launched Chinese market Kia K2, tipped to make its debut at the Shanghai show. Its name and styling are exactly what one would expect of a smaller sibling to the Kia K5.

The K5, or Optima to the rest of us, is a sharply styled D-segment saloon that was introduced to the Chinese market last month. Made by the Dongfeng-Yueda-Kia joint venture, the K5 was launched with two engine options – a 2.0 with 165 hp/198 Nm and a 2.4 with 179 hp/231 Nm. A six-speed manual is also available in China. We’ve driven this car in Aussie spec already – click here to read the report.

This K2 will complete Kia’s saloon range in China, which currently has the K5 and the larger Cadenza (K7). It will most probably come with 1.4L and 1.6L engines from the Hyundai-Kia pool, paired to a five-speed manual in the base spec. A check on Kia’s Chinese site reveals that the Forte isn’t sold there (although the Forte Koup is, badged as Shuma), so the K2’s role would be the “small saloon” of the family, replacing the Kia Rio.