The Premier Rio Compact SUV did not generate a huge response in the market when it made its first debut in India in the year 2009. You could blame this on Premier’s poor marketing strategy or the various quality concerns which the Rio always got flack for. However it now looks like the Premier is ready to begin its second innings with a refurbished Rio recently spotted doing test rounds in India.
It’s not yet clear whether this is their next generation model or a new one for the same line up, however a quite different looking Rio was spotted making rounds near the company’s assembly plant at Pimpri-Chinchwad. The upgraded or new Rio has a more aggressive front compared to the present Rio model.
The spied version also boasts of redesigned bumpers, rounded fog lamps at back and front, flared cladding, and newly designed alloy wheels, ABS as well as a 1.5 badge on its tail gate. The current Rio model is powered by a diesel 1.5 l engine, which was derived from Peugeot TDU5 engine. One of the engine’s shortcomings proved to be its nonconformity with the norms set by Bharat Stage IV.
Premier Rio is sold in the Chinese market as Zoyte Nomad, while the spotted test Rio is sold as Nomad II in China. This model is powered by a diesel 1.5 l engine which produces more than 100 PS power compared to the current model’s 68PS power. Nomad II’s engine is also complaint with Euro III regulations and boasts of onboard diagnostics.
While we are not yet sure, it would be interesting to see what Premier will offer as an engine choice and whether they would bring this same engine over here and change it to meet BS4 norms. It’s also likely that they could offer the same old engine but with a few modifications to make it meet BS4 norms or other strict Indian emission norms.
If the Premier decides to go with a 100 PS power engine for the Rio, then it could easily reverse the Rio’s original response in India. There are also rumours doing the rounds of the Rio being powered by Fiat’s Multijet engine. Premier has had talks with different engine manufacturers like Force motors and Fiat and it is probable that they are still evaluating these options. However, seeing the unhealthy sales witnessed by the first Rio model, it looks unlikely that they would carry out some R&D to mate the Multijet engine into the Rio.