Maybe you remember that we recently spied a mysterious vehicle that looked like a 1st gen Kia Niro but had a higher roof. Today we have more info about this model, this mule is first prototype of Kia PBV or purpose-built vehicle. Kia recently stopped production of its second generation K5 taxi model. So this model, with internal codename PBV01, will have an EV powertrain and will replace the K5 LPi as a Taxi in South Korea.
What we know so far?
The mysterious vehicle was caught in the street near Hyundai Motor Group’s R&D Center in Namyang, South Korea and despite we don’t know what this could be, it is clear that Hyundai are trying to play distraction. Checking Hyundai and Kia future vehicles, despite almost all of their future vehicles will be electric this test mule has a regular exhaust.
These are the very first spy shots of an expected SUV that should arrive sometime in 2023. The chassis testing mule had a slightly modified body of the Kia Niro with the same wheelbase and a higher roof.
Detail of the provisional matte black bumpers. It’s just a 1st gen Niro with a higher roof
Currently, Hyundai could be working on next-gen Kona or next-gen i30 which is expected to be transfored into a crossover. Both Kona and i30 had a whellbase of 2.600mm and 2.650mm while the Niro has 2.700mm, so it makes sense that the wheelbase be the same as it is already longer than the current Kona and i30 models.
The another option is that we could be in front of a test mule testing underpinnings of new SUV for the Indian market. Both Hyundai and Kia are on a real offensive to conquer the Indian market with the launch of several new models, including EV’s, in the coming years. Recently Hyundai invested 600 billion won (US $500 million) in the Indian market.
So what do you think? Place your bets!
Photo Source: AutoPost