Source:New Premier Rio review, test drive - Review - Autocar India
After a year and a half , a new BSIV-compliant 1.2-litre petrol motor will help the Rio tackle the big cities and bigger numbers. To further broaden the car’s appeal, Premier will unveil a facelift at the Auto Expo that should help it fit right into the urban landscape.
The new curvy headlamps bulge and cut into the bumper, and the clean design of
the new integrated grille and the silver chin spoiler give the Rio a pleasant and sophisticated look. These changes have necessitated a new hood and side panels, which along with the new bumper, improves aerodynamic efficiency, claims the company.
The grey plastic valance covers for the wheel arches and the side cladding are now body coloured, making the Rio much more appealing even when viewed from the side. Turn indicators on the mirrors give the Rio added flair.
The Rio is now powered by a four-cylinder 1.2-litre petrol motor. Although the engine is designed by AVL, it is manufactured in China and is brought in assembled from there. The longitudinally mounted engine delivers 75.5bhp of power and 10.5kgm of torque to the rear wheels. The first twist of the key brings the engine to life. It settles into a smooth, quiet idle, benefitting from the same insulation that was added to the diesel Rio. The tall gear lever slots into first with a light but notchy feel, but the clutch action is light.
On the highway the Rio can hit an indicated 140kph, but it takes a fair amount of patience and the engine sounds strained getting there. Even in-gear acceleration is painstakingly slow. The gear ratios feel a bit tall too, the Rio losing speed rapidly as you switch to 5th.
Rio powered by Fiat’s 74bhp Multijet is slated for a mid-2012 launch, and that will change the Rio’s value equation massively.