Kia is working on a range of new turbocharged petrol engines including everything from a super-frugal 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder to a force-fed high-performance 5.0-litre V8.
The Hyundai group's new 1.6-litre direct-injection turbo-petrol four is expected to make its Kia debut - in tandem with the Korean brand's first six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission - in the redesigned Cerato Koup within a year.
Hyundai-Kia's new six-speed twin-clutch auto has been confirmed to make its European debut in the redesigned C'eed small (C-segment) hatch, and is likely to be seen in New Zealand in Cerato next year.
Kia global powertrain engineering chief Joachim Hahn has now revealed that the first Kia model to offer the company's 1.6 TGDI turbo four will also be a C-segment model.
"I cannot give you the information currently in which vehicle for the first time the 1.6 turbo GDI engine will come out in Kia, but I can inform you it will not be the Rio," he told journalists at the Geneva motor show.
"Yes, we should look at turbo engines in Rio (but) the first Kia turbo will be in the C segment, not B segment - a variant of a C-segment car.
"What I can say is that we already produce a turbocharged direct-injection engine - we call it internally TGDI - and what we will bring out in Kia within the next 12 months is a European GDI turbocharged engine."
Although the 1.6 GDI belongs to the same Gamma engine family as the 1.4 and 1.6 MPI port-injection and GDI direct-injection engines, Dr Hahn said the company's new DCT auto would be matched initially only with the 1.6 GDI engine.
"It is also planned to have the DCT transmission which we just are introducing in the first stage with our GDI engine. Direct injection will also be in conjunction with the DCT and another variation of this engine."
Dr Hahn said the DCT, which allows an automatic Hyundai the same fuel consumption as the manual, would be key in reducing CO2 emissions.
"The European market will drive the change from the torque-converter automatic to dual-clutch, especially to fulfil their demands in terms of CO2 emissions legislations.
"For example, the DCT in the C'eed in combination with the Gamma GDI engine is able to achieve 119g/km and this now, for the first time, is if you choose the double-clutch transmission or if you choose the manual transmission."
Dr Hahn said that, while the 1.6 TGDI would be a sportier engine in compact cars like the Rio and Cerato, it would represent a downsized entry-level engine in larger models like the Optima.
"For this (B) segment, from a European perception, it is not the understanding of a downsizing - it's more the understanding of sporty. It is easy to come out with this concept with 180 horsepower (135kW) and more, which is in comparison to the market and to our current C-segment engine line-up."
Dr Hahn said that, in the same way the 1.6 TGDI would be the death knell for V6 power from Kia, the advent of a new 1.0-litre, three-cylinder, turbo-petrol engine - like the one in Hyundai's Ioniq range-extender EV at this week's Geneva show - could negate the need for some naturally aspirated, inline four-cylinder engines.
"The same question some markets have with the V6, contrary to the inline four-cylinder in Europe, is a little bit like the comparison between the naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine against the turbo three-cylinder," said Dr Kahn.
"It is the same story - once you decide to reduce your total displacement significantly, depending from where you start, you have to think about the number of cylinders. We are not only looking at it (a turbo-petrol triple), we have developed it."