KIA Motors South Africa: KIA Suspension and Refinement







Published by Gerald Ferreira Date: April 25, 2012
Categories: KIA, KIA RIO

Improved stability, smoother ride and enhanced refinement

Developed from the previous model, the New Rio’s suspension and running gear has been totally re-engineered to carry over that popular car’s responsive handling while improving stability, ride quality and refinement – in line with heightened customer expectations.

KIA RIO Refinement

The electric power-assisted rack and pinion steering (called MDPS) now features a combined torque/angle sensor to protect against side wind gusts.  Speed-sensitive, the system is geared to require just 2.82 turns (lock-to-lock) and the turning circle is a city-street-friendly 10.52 metres.  The use of electric, rather than hydraulic, power assistance results in a 3% fuel saving.

Mounted on a sub-frame to isolate road shocks, the MacPherson strut front suspension is largely unchanged, with small alterations to reduce friction and accommodate the new model’s longer wheelbase, wider track and different weight distribution.

The CTBA (Coupled Torsion Beam Axle) at the rear is stiffer (reducing under-steer) and the strength of the connection between the trailing-arms and the stub-axles is doubled, improving stability.  Wheel travel is increased by 10 mm and the geometry is improved to reduce bump-steer while also delivering a more compliant ride.

The braking system for new Rio features 256 x 22 mm ventilated front discs and 203 x 10 mm drum brakes at the rear, as standard.  The performance of the braking system is supported by the ABS anti-lock with an EBD (Electronic Brake-force Distribution) system.

The tire package for new Rio 1.2 will be a 15-inch steel wheel and 185/65 R15 tires. The 1.4 is fitted with 15-inch alloys and 17-inch alloy wheels with lower profile tires (205/45R17) will be available as an option. 17-inch alloy wheels are fitted to the 1.4 TEC model as standard. All models are equipped with a full-size spare wheel. 

Best-in-class refinement

Kia engineers were determined to make new Rio one of the best-in-class cars for refinement.  As well as creating a more rigid bodyshell structure, key components were scrutinised to discover new ways of improving NVH.

Measures to minimise NVH include increasing the rigidity of the car’s bodyshell structure with a stiffer steering column support bracket, reinforced panels within the C-pillar, strengthened rear fascia and increased stiffness for the inner and outer skins of the trunk.

The front subframe, which supports the engine, transmission and suspension, was strengthened, made more rigid and mounted to the bodyshell at six points – two more than before.  The engine mounts have larger hydraulic mass dampers and the driveshafts improved damper tuning.  Improved noise absorption was achieved by applying new, lightweight materials to the dashboard bulkhead, hood and engine cover.  The engine air-intake system was also modified to reduce intake roar.

Within the bodyshell, new sound absorbing materials were applied to the A-, B- and C-pillars, and to the rear wheel arches, trunk side panels and trunk.

More about the KIA RIO