Currently Kia’s lineup of green vehicles consists of the Soul electric vehicle and the Optima hybrid, but Kia is getting ready to expand that list with a new dedicated hybrid called the Niro. Kia has released a batch of teaser photos of its new Niro crossover hybrid, which will be Kia’s first model that has been designed from the ground up to be a hybrid.
The Niro hybrid crossover will be about the same size as the Kia Sportage compact crossover, but under the hood the Niro will be powered by a new hybrid powertrain that it will share with Hyundai’s upcoming Toyota Prius rival. The setup will reportedly consist of a 1.6L four-cylinder engine that will be mated to an electric motor, a six-speed dual-clutch transmission and a lithium-polymer battery. Kia says that the Niro has been designed from the ground up to accommodate a range of environmentally-conscious technologies and next-generation powertrains, which will also likely include a plug-in hybrid version.
Kia hasn’t announced when it will take the wraps off the Niro concept, but it is being reported that it will be a global vehicle, which means that it will be introduced in the U.S. at some point. Production is expected to kick off by next fall in Korea.
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