The Kia Niro will be an all-new gas-electric hybrid vehicle. According to Kia, it will be its first dedicated hybrid not developed based off an existing gas vehicle. Although only basic information is available, we know it will aim to compete with segment leaders like the Toyota Prius and Chevrolet Volt.
Kia is calling the Niro a hybrid utility vehicle, or HUV. Initial renderings released by Kia show a vehicle with the versatility of a small SUV. In a report by Automotive News, Kia says the Niro will be powered by a 1.6-liter gas engine mated to a 32 kW electric motor. It will also feature a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission and lithium battery pack.
The Niro will be part of a larger push by Kia to offer a wider range of fuel-efficient vehicles. The greenest car in the lineup is currently the Soul EV with up to 105 MPGe in combined city/highway driving. However, its appeal has been limited by a driving range of 90 miles and availability confined to a handful of regions. As far as hybrids go, the next generation Optima Hybrid is set to debut in 2016 and will feature a drivetrain related to the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.
The Niro is currently expected to debut by late 2016. Stay tuned for the latest release info as it becomes available.
Pictured: Kia Niro rendering (Source: Kia Motors Global)