The all-new Kia Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle has been teased, promising class leading fuel economy and emissions, it’s expected to launch in 2016.

OVERNIGHT KIA ANNOUNCED it would introduce its all-new Kia Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle in 2016 and that it marks the development of the brand’s “first dedicated eco-car platform”.

“Niro will maintain all the practicality and appeal of a compact SUV, while offering greater fuel economy. Engineered from the ground up as a dedicated hybrid vehicle, its attractive, modern styling will help the car stand out in a traditionally conservative sector,” Kia said in a statement.

It added that Niro’s platform had been built in isolation from other 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.”

Lee added, “The compact SUV market remains one of the fastest-growing segments around the world, and by offering a handsome styling, modern appearance, high practicality and extraordinary fuel economy, Kia’s new Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle will be the most appealing and desirable car in its class.”

While the Niro has no direct predecessors, it is clearly still a Kia. From the swooping profile to the ‘tiger-nose’ grille the Korean car makers said the Niro takes styling cues from current Kia products. The styling of the new Niro development project was led by Kia’s design centres in California, USA and Namyang, Korea.

While Kia has been careful to point all of the information about the Niro’s drivetrain and emissions are “subject to homologation” the brand is clearly chasing some ambitious targets. Indeed, it’s aiming for the best fuel economy in the compact SUV class and sub-90g/km CO2 emissions based on the New European Driving Cycle, which is a real-world emissions test.

The engineered-from-the-ground-up-as-a-hybrid Niro will run Kia’s 1.6-litre ‘Kappa’ petrol direct injection (GDI) engine with a 1.56 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack and 32kW electric motor. Power will get to the road via a 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.

Stay tuned for more information about the Niro as we get closer to its reveal in early 2016 and launch later that year.

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  1. Probably close to two tonne and comes with a 1.6l, hybrid or not it’ll be gutless like 95% of Korean and Japanese cars

      1. Care to tell me which ones aren’t aside from the very few turbo cars and a few expensive Lexis and Infinti cars. Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Hyundai etc mostly make gutless cars for the sheep that wouldn’t know performance if it slapped them in the face. Why do you think utter crap like Corrolla’s are so popular. Same power today as from a 1990 Corrolla.

        1. Performance isn’t always connected to power. I’d argue that cars like the Honda Integra Type R and Mazda MX-5 aren’t/weren’t particularly powerful but they provided ‘performance’ in spades. So, if you’re relating performance to power then, yes, the vast majority of Japanese and Korean cars, which are designed as A-B transport could be argued to be underpowered, but then they generally have enough power to move themselves and a family of four and their luggage, so, maybe they’re powerful enough?
          I’m driving a Corolla at the moment as a long-termer and, sure, it’s not overly endowed with power but it’s got enough for the type of car that it is. Cheers Isaac.

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