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Hybrid technology continues to hit new heights with the Kia Niro.

Kia introduce their Hybrid Utility Vehicle : The Niro

By Grace Cunningham on 19th November 2015

Kia expand their model offerings with the introduction of the Niro, a Hybrid Utility Vehicle which marks the development of Kia’s first dedicated eco-car platform. Maintaining practicality and appeal of a compact SUV alongside a greater fuel economy the Niro has been 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 Kia Niro will boast a brand new design, with a sporty, aerodynamic body, subtly sculptured surfaces and styling details finishing off the car’s modern new look whilst remaining immediately recognisable as a Kia.  Sporting a compact SUV shape, the car’s designers highlight the most modern architectural designs and contemporary sculptural art as key inspirations behind the new HUV’s body. The vehicle boasts smooth, sleek proportions, while its relatively wide stance portrays stability and a low center of gravity. The long wheelbase minimises the size of the front and rear overhangs, while ensuring occupants enjoy the maximum possible interior space.

Delivering class-leading fuel economy is the main focus of the engineering teams’ efforts with 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 and impressive fuel economy 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.

Based upon a bespoke new platform, the Kia Niro’s body is made of more than 50% ultra-high strength steel, contributing to the class-leading fuel economy and high safety ratings that development teams are targeting. With a strong, lightweight body, the Niro will build on Kia’s reputation for producing cars with a strong crash safety performance. The high-strength platform will not only result in a high safety rating, but also help minimise noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), a key focus throughout the Niro’s conception.

The new Kia Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle is due to be unveiled next year, with production for overseas markets scheduled to start in late 2016. The car will be built at Kia’s Hwasung manufacturing facility in Korea.