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Now that the 2017 Kia Rio has been unveiled, it’s only a matter of time before its derivatives get their time in the spotlight. Chinese automotive portal autohome.com.cn has obtained leaked photos of the first variant, the Kia K2 sedan – but before you get your hopes up, this isn’t the Rio Sedan that the rest of the world will receive, but a China-specific model sold only in the Middle Kingdom when it is launched there in November.

Still, this does give a good idea of what a new four-door Rio will look like, and it definitely does look promising. The donor car’s longer bonnet, lower height and more horizontal beltline gives the new K2 a much more cohesive design compared to its predecessor and the current Rio Sedan.

There are numerous styling differences compared to the Rio hatch. The front end has a more conventional design, with reshaped projector headlights flanking a larger “tiger nose” grille – with a conventional mesh rather than a flat gloss black cover. There’s also a much smaller lower grille, plus wider outer air inlets with fog lights and LED daytime running lights.

Along the sides, the window line has been reshaped, and the hatch’s horizontal character lines have been replaced by a rising strake down the flanks. Moving to the rear, the tail lights with L-shaped LED guides are joined together by a horizontal bar, while the black rear valence carries both the number plate and the fog lights.

The K2 is also straight-laced on the inside, with horizontal gloss black trim bisecting the dashboard. There are a few bits carried over from the Rio, however – the dual-meter instrument binnacle, three-spoke steering wheel and climate control panel with concave buttons have all been lifted wholesale. The seats also look to be the same design, although the leather upholstery has been trimmed differently.

According to reports, the K2 will forego the new Rio’s 1.0 litre turbocharged T-GDI engine in favour of carryover 1.4 litre and 1.6 litre naturally-aspirated engines, producing 107 hp and 123 hp respectively. The transmission is expected to be a six-speed automatic.