The Kia Niro concept made its US debut at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show

Chicago, February 6, 2014 – The dramatic and modern urban lifestyle Kia Niro, which was unveiled last September at the Frankfurt Motor Show, made its US debut at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show. The Niro signals a potential future B-segment contender ready to take on the city environment Elegant and fun to drive, it features a combination of contrasting materials and compact, purposeful dimensions. The rally-like Niro also expands on Kia’s alternative propulsion story with a hybrid electric powertrain powered by an advanced all-wheel drive system.

Born from Kia’s ambition to seek new automotive solutions for special and individual people, the Niro features interesting elements not often associated with small cars. Designed at Kia’s design studio in Frankfurt, Germany, the Niro displays a sporty appearance that promises readiness for action and adventure.

“Ten years ago, people wanted simple style in the SUV market, but increasingly, as more people migrate to the B-segment, they are looking for strong character and individuality,” said Gregory Guillaume, chief designer at Kia Design Center Europe. “It may look like a Dakar Rally competitor, but the Niro has a strong sense of luxury thanks to our innovative use of advanced, modern materials that blend strength and soul to deliver a fun vehicle that is ready to be part of any active person’s lifestyle.”

Modern and strong physique

Although the Niro offers a strong, muscular outline, it has relatively compact dimensions on the all-new B-Class platform. The design team set out with the goal of creating a strong, purposeful scheme with a striking two-tone exterior. Its overall length is 164.8 inches, 72.8 inches wide, and 61.3 inches high, which puts it firmly in the city car pod.

The dark “Nightfall” exterior paint is sharply offset by a polished stainless steel roof that surrounds the entire cabin. This two-tone construction gives a unique, high-tech edge to the Niro’s exterior. Also adding to the feeling that the car is literally bursting from its skin are the presence of running board-type “blades” above the lower side sills – which are repeated by similar creases in the front and rear lower valances. Furthermore, this concept’s established appearance is defined by a 102-inch wheelbase and a 64.2-inch track.

The outlines of Kia’s signature grille, front and rear tow hooks, hood-mounted air intake, and other exterior elements are highlighted in anodized ‘Limelight’ aluminum, lending to the Niro’s impressive road presence.

The front valance also features an asymmetrical arrangement of air vents first seen on the Provo concept in Geneva last year. The aggressive-looking front fascia is enhanced by an ice cube-shaped headlight arrangement, strip-shaped daytime running lights around the outer edge of the headlight housing, as well as integrated spotlights in the form of quadrants.

Entry to the car is via dihedral ‘butterfly’ doors with flush door handles, which swing high towards the roof. Milled “Plexiglas®” door mirrors are mounted directly to the side windows and have built-in cameras. At the back, the large hatch opens to reveal a spacious, carbon-fiber-clad cargo deck ready to swallow large amounts of gear, tools, gear or luggage. Part of the rear lighting assembly swings out as a primary element of the hatch structure to give good illumination and visibility into the load space, leaving behind the secondary section of the assembly to enhance safety by ensuring that others on the road can still see the vehicle inside. the darkness.

The Niro’s rugged construction sits atop big 225/40R-20 tires mounted on 20-inch, five-spoke milled aluminum wheels.

Edgy interior

Niro continues its futuristic and tech-savvy theme within its 2+2 interior. Easy ingress and egress are ensured by butterfly doors that reveal a massive cabin featuring luxurious touches and high-quality materials.

The Niro’s one-piece front seats are covered in ‘Orbit Silver’ quilted fabric. The shell seat backs tilt forward to allow access to a 50/50 split bench seat. These rear seats allow the Niro to accommodate two additional passengers, but when folded flat they form the leading edge of a useful full-length carbon fiber cargo area.

Extensive use of ‘Volcano Black’ leather on the front dashboard coupled with switchgear painted in either black anodized or ‘Limelight’ aluminum gives the interior an upscale and sophisticated feel.

For the driver, an ideal seating position is found thanks to the fully adjustable pedals and the aluminum and leather steering wheel. You have a digital toolkit for moderation. Additional information – such as altitude, Bluetooth® functions and satellite navigation – is displayed on a screen mounted on the center console. This screen also allows the driver to see and record live images from video cameras installed at the front, rear, sides and inside the car.

Rising between the transmission tunnel and the main dashboard structure are two anodized aluminum columns. The left column contains the engine start and stop button as well as the main transmission motor control. The right-hand column contains additional touch-sensitive panels that allow control of the in-car entertainment and computer functions displayed on the central screen.

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The Niro may be the designers’ view of a future B-segment competitor, but that doesn’t mean it’s just a flight of fancy. The concept comes with a variant of Kia’s 1.6-litre turbocharged ‘Gamma’ engine, capable of generating a smile-inducing 160bhp. The engine and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission serve the front wheels while the electric hybrid system powered by regenerative braking delivers up to 45 horsepower to the rear wheels – when road conditions require extra stability.

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