The South Korean automaker has released the first teaser images with its upcoming Niro hybrid crossover that is expected to reach the market at home and later around the world before the second half of next year.
The model has been previewed as far back as 2013 with a concept of the same name, but the Niro is only now reaching the production line and Kia is hyping interest for the model set to enter the hottest auto segment – SUV/crossovers. The teaser images were not the only goodies from the South Korean automaker, which has also unveiled the model’s preliminary technical specifications. The hybrid crossover will share the underpinnings of the Hyundai model that is getting ready to emerge as a Toyota Prius competitor: a four-cylinder 1.6-liter naturally aspirated engine will be mated to an electric motor and the assembly will also feature a 1.56 kWh battery pack and a six-speed dual clutch gearbox.
With a thermal efficiency of 40 percent the internal combustion engine will churn out 105 PS (77 kW) and 147 Nm (108 lb-ft). Kia could also deliver a plug-in hybrid variant of the Niro because the company has an overall goal of making its model range 25 percent more fuel efficient before 2020. If the teaser sketches are to be trusted, the Niro will have a practical five-door layout and a stylish design with a massive roof spoiler. Reaching the world as global model, the Niro comes with sleek head and taillights, aluminum underbody protection and aerodynamically optimized body panels as well as plastic body cladding for added ruggedness.