Kia Niro EV Concept makes its debut at 2018 CES

Randolph Lopez
January 10, 2018

Designers also installed new headlights, a sportier front bumper, and a redesigned rear end with "clean and sharp trailing edges allowing air to flow more easily off the back of the auto". Dr Woong-chul Yung, the head of Kia's R&D centre, called it a manifesto "where everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the infinite value that future mobility will bring".

While still decidedly concept-y, the Kia Niro EV Concept looks like a fairly realistic image of what we can expect from Kia in the near future.

Kia also made it clear that it's getting serious about electrified vehicles.

As for the Niro EV, in concept form the vehicle packs a 200-horsepower electric motor at the front axle and a 64-kilowatt-hour lithium-polymer battery good for 238 miles of range-the same figure as the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

The 2019 Niro EV will likely retain the smooth panel that replaces the brand's familiar "tiger nose" grille.

CES 2018: Kia Unveils Niro EV Concept With 383 Km Range

Kia managers have not given any specific plans to produce the Niro EV Concept, but did say they plan to have 16 electrified vehicles by 2025, including five new hybrid models, five battery-electric vehicles and a fuel-cell electric auto. The system is front-facing cameras, object recognition technology and speakers mounted on the face of the auto.

Kia says the goal is "an innate sense of space and calm" inside the vehicle, which is enhanced by "soft shades of silver, grey, and bronze" on every piece of the interior.

Kia also envisages face and voice recognition being used in preference to a traditional key. For example, the Niro EV Concept could theoretically limit its maximum power if it recognized a teen driver behind the wheel. The concept also features a never-seen-before human-machine interface (HMI) and an advanced new "motion graphic" lighting system, previewing the potential for these technologies for market introduction in coming years. There are cameras and speakers mounted on the front of the vehicle.

At CES 2018, Kia actually presented several new autonomous driving technologies, which it intends to test on roads beginning in 2021, as well as the world's first 5G connection for cars.

Consider the Niro EV Kia's signal to get into the plug-in mainstream when the toned down production version goes on sale in the second half of 2018.

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