A comprehensively updated Premier Rio launches in China as the Zotye T200
Nithyanandh K, As a toddler, those wheeled machinery fascinated me even before I knew what they’re called as! So here I'm, petrolhead by birth, Mechanical engineer by qualification and automotive reporter by profession!
The Premier Rio should be given the credit for being the first sub-4 metre SUV in India.
[Left – Zotye T200 gets boomerang headlamps, multi-slat grille and a single-piece dumbbell-shaped foglight enclosure ; Right – Premier Rio]
The lack of brand pull and a wide service network took the car out of consideration for many middle class car buyers. The Premier Rio which is basically a rebadged Zotye 5008 even received the famed 1.3 MultiJet diesel engine last year to reach into BS4 markets.
The other engine options include a 1.2 litre 77 bhp petrol motor and a 1.5 litre 65 bhp Peugeot TUD5 diesel engine.
[Left – Zotye T200 gets a newly cut door cladding and body graphics (below); Right – Premier Rio]
Regular IAB readers know that Zotye was working on a facelifted version of the 5008. We even brought you the patent leaks of the new car. However there is a mild twist in the story. The Chinese manufacturer has decided to sell the old and the new car simultaneously and hence has named the facelifted version as the T200.
[Left – At the rear, the Zotye T200 features a redesigned stoplight with integrated reverse lights and a redesigned bumper with wrap-around reflectors; Right – Premier Rio]
The T200 has an extensively revised front fascia. The headlamps are sharper and slightly smaller. The front grill gets angular and bigger and contains three horizontal bars. The front bumper is completely new with bigger fog lamps.
The profile of the car and the most part of the rear fascia stay intact. The taillights are slightly tweaked and the reprofiled bumper gets new reflector units.
[Left – Zotye T200 features a fully redesigned dual tone dashboard with circular A.C. vents and a neatly arranged center stack; Right – Premier Rio]
On the inside the dashboard is whole new with new center console and aircon vents. The interior now adopts dual tone beige theme.
Premier imports most of the components from Zotye to make the Rio and hence the transition of the looks can be changed easily. The question is, will Premier refresh the Rio and launch it as the 2013 year model?