Today we finally got some news about the Kia Niro, a dedicated hybrid crossover from Kia were scheduled to debut somewhere in Summer 2015, but the plans were delayed, probably, thanks to the advancement of the 4th generation Sportage.
[ads id=”0″ style=”float:left;padding:9px;”]Like a few months ago, we asked KMC Overseas General Manager Michael Choo, who confirmed the car is still under development, and the program was rescheduled. We tried to get more information about this new hybrid-only small SUV and the differences between this and the “KC”, a small SUV too that were added to chinese Kia’s line-up.
“The dedicated hybrid and the KC (called as KX3) are different cars. We are not officially commenting on KC at the moment. As for the dedicated hybrid, all we are revealing at this time is that Kia Motors is developing an all-new vehicle, which will be Kia’s first dedicated eco-friendly vehicle based on its own platform.” Choo said.
“The Kia Niro will be launched initially with a next generation hybrid powertrain and a plug-in powertrain will be added later. Further details of the DE (launch timing, markets, prices and technical details) will be announced in Q4 this year.” he added.
With an SUV-shaped profile, plastic cladding around the wheel arches and bumpers, low ride height it’s appearance is very much a crossover between a small estate and a SUV – like the Mercedes GLA – and designed with the global market in its mind, could be revealed in teaser form, or debut as a concept car in the next Motor Show’s, like LA Auto Show (November) or Detroit (January 2016).
“The Kia Niro will get an all-new platform, engineered to accommodate a specific set of environmentally-conscious technologies and powertrains. Choo said. This ‘blank page’ approach will allow Kia’s engineers to design and develop the new model in isolation from other others in the Kia range, ensuring the car and its powertrain are perfectly suited to one another. This is part of Kia’s continuous drive to expand and develop its line-up of environmentally-friendly vehicles” he added.
The car will fit between the Soul and the Sportage measuring 4,350mm and hits a sweet spot in terms of size and design: “Our research showed that Prius owners want a hybrid but aren’t happy with the design, this is the answer to that,” he said.
Photo Source: [CarPix for TheKoreanCarBlog]