These are the first sketches showing what the new Kia Rio will look like. It is longer, lower and wider than the existing model and has sleek new lines.

The new Rio is designed to target those in the 25-50 age group who want a well kitted-out small family car.

"The sporty style gives the car a sense of movement even while stationary," said Kia's chief design officer, Peter Schreyer. "Inside the feeling is quality more typically associated with larger, more expensive models. Downsizing is becoming more and more of a trend these days and the new Rio will help consumers to be more comfortable making that switch."

The new model will be launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

The current Kia Rio was the company's third-best-selling vehicle during 2010 with sales of more than 205,000.