Kia Motors’ Concept Used to Gauge New Platform Perceptions
Kia’s dramatic new Niro urban-lifestyle concept, unveiled at the Internationale Automobil Ausstellung (IAA) show in Frankfurt, Germany in September, hints at a possible future B-segment contender ready to take on the city environment with style and tenacity.
The vehicle, described by Kia designers as playful but gutsy, sturdy yet impish – is ready for any challenge that the assured modern motorist may throw at it.
The Niro combines a mischievous character in a clearly robust and substantial yet stylish bodyshape featuring a mix of contrasting materials in compact, purposeful dimensions.
Compact Size on a New Platform
Although Niro has been created to deliver a sturdy and muscular outline, it has relatively compact dimensions on an all-new platform that will form the basis of future B-segment products from Kia.
The menacingly dark “Nightfall” colored exterior is sharply and attractively offset by a brushed, stainless steel roof.
Enveloping the entire cabin, this two-finish construction gives a unique and strongly technological edge to Niro’s appearance.
Also adding a feel that the car is virtually bursting out of its skin are running-board type “blades” above the lower side-sills – echoed by similar creases in the front and rear lower valances.
The aggressive front look is enhanced by an ice-cube light arrangement providing dip and main beam lights, strip daytime running lights around the edge of the lighting housing as well as built-in quartered spot lights.
Entry is by dihedral “butterfly” doors that open into the roof panel and swing up high and with low-set flush handles.
Mounted directly onto the side windows are milled “Plexiglas” door mirrors with in-built downward-facing cameras.
Niro marches in a variant of Kia’s turbocharged 1.6L ‘Gamma’ engine, developing 118kW (160ps).
While the engine and seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission serve only the front wheels, an electric-hybrid system powered from regenerative braking delivers up to 33kW (45ps) to the rear wheels – when road conditions require extra grip.
Niro’s sturdy look is completed by special 225/40R20 tires mounted on milled aluminum 20-inch five-spoke wheels.
Kia Motors reports there are no plans for Niro to go into commercial production in the immediate future. However, Niro’s appearance at the IAA show will be used to gauge public opinion and possible demand.
By Ed Sunkin, editor
Source: Kia Motors