Last year, at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, Kia showcased its latest urban lifestyle concept car called the Kia Niro. Recently, Kia has debuted the same concept crossover for the North American market at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show.
Although just a concept, it could potentially transform into a strong B-segment contender in the coming years. What will make the Niro stand out from its competition is its propulsion system which uses a combination of an hybrid electric powertrain and an advanced all wheel drive system.
Proportion wise the Niro is 164.8 inches in overall length, 72.8 inches in width and 61.3 inches in height, and features a 102 inch wheelbase. This clearly tells despite being a crossover at heart, how compact the Niro concept is. Apart from the compact design what really attracts us is a looks of Niro which make use of “Limelight” aluminum anodized parts such as front and rear tow hooks, signature grille outline, hood-mounted air scoop etc.
Some other highlights of Niro’s exterior include ice-cube headlight arrangement featuring strip-styled daytime running lights, quartered spot lights, dihedral butterfly doors, 20 inch 5-spoke wheels wrapped in large 225/40R-20 tires and more.
Being an urban lifestyle vehicle, the interior of the concept features a 2+2 layout in a very futuristic and edgy design. The seating arrangement comprises of molded one-piece front seats wrapped in Orbit Silver fabric which can be tilted for easy access to 50/50 split bench seat at the rear. At the back of the rear seats is full-length carbon fiber load area.
Accentuating the tech-savvy theme of the interior is Volcano Black leather which has been used on the front dashboard in conjunction with anodized black or “Limelight” aluminum for the switches. Furthermore there is a leather covered steering wheel, fully adjustable pedals, satellite navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, engine Start-Stop button, touch sensitive panels for the infotainment system and more.
Powering the concept a different version of Kia’s turbocharged 1.6-liter ‘Gamma’ engine which happily produces 160 hp. An additional 45 hp of power is provided by an electric hybrid system that powers the rear wheels. As for the transmission, the Niro features a 7-speed, dual-clutch unit which will not only be frugal but quick as well.