Kia Niro Hybrid Concept 01

While everyone is busy at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Kia sets its sight on this February’s Chicago Auto Show, where the Korean automaker will unveil the new Niro hybrid utility vehicle (HUV).

Building on the original concept that made its debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Niro hybrid certainly looks more feasible for production thanks to the revised styling formulated by the automaker’s design centres in California and Namyang. The car will compete in the booming global compact crossover market and fit between the Soul and Sportage in the company’s lineup.

Kia Niro Hybrid Concept 02

If you think the Niro looks a lot like the latter, know that you’re not alone in this. From the front, we can see the crossover wearing a slim version of the brand’s tiger-nose grille, matched with headlights that are clearly designed based on the new Sportage. The resemblance continues to the rear, where the concept sports high-mounted LED lights, narrow windscreen and a roof-mounted spoiler.

The Niro will be built on Kia’s new eco-car platform, which includes a “downsized gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain” that is capable of producing a sub-90 g/km CO2 emissions rating. Nothing is official as of yet, although some reports suggest that the car could feature a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine, a six-speed dual-clutch transmission as well as a 47-hp electric motor with a 1.56kWh battery.




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