Kia has announced plans for an all-new low emissions vehicle - the Niro.
Representing a new concept from the Korean car brand, the Niro marks the development of Kia's first dedicated eco-car platform, engineered from the ground up as a hybrid vehicle. The new car will maintain 'all the practicality and appeal of a compact SUV, while offering greater fuel economy'.
The Niro's all-new platform has been engineered in isolation from existing Kia models, and is designed to accommodate a specific set of environmentally-conscious technologies and next-generation powertrains.
Hyoung-Keun Lee, Vice Chairman & CEO, Kia Motors Corporation, commented, "Our new model is designed to offer buyers everything they could want from a compact SUV in terms of practicality and styling, while providing the typically low running costs associated with a dedicated hybrid powertrain. By encouraging our engineers to take a 'blank canvas' approach, we have tried to develop a car that will appeal to a broader range of consumers."
The SUV will feature a brand new design, with a 'sporty, aerodynamic body', subtly sculptured surfaces and styling details finishing off the car's modern new look. It will however carrying forward the company's signature 'tiger-nose' grille and a series of other design cues from the latest Kia products. The long wheelbase minimises the size of the front and rear overhangs, while ensuring occupants enjoy the maximum possible interior space.
The main focus of the engineering team was to deliver 'class-leading fuel economy' in the compact SUV segment. The Niro has a target CO2 emissions rating of under 90 g/km (combined, based on the New European Driving Cycle).
The car will achieve its ultra-low emissions levels with a downsized hybrid powertrain, pairing Kia's 1.6-litre 'Kappa' petrol direct injection (GDI) engine (105 ps power output and 147 Nm of torque) with a 1.56 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack and 32 kW electric motor. The powertrain's combined power output and torque will be applied to the road through a 'highly-efficient' six-speed double-clutch transmission. A plug-in hybrid powertrain is due to be added to the car's line-up later in its life-cycle.
The Kia Niro is due to be unveiled next year, with production scheduled to start in late 2016.