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Kia’s Niro compact hybrid SUV breaks cover

THE Detroit NAIAS show may be about to start this week but Kia is already hyping up its contribution to next month’s Chicago show — releasing teasers for its Niro hybrid compact crossover.

Dubbed an HUV for ‘Hybrid Utility Vehicle’, the compact crossover model, is part of Kia’s push to create a greener lineup through 2020, and the model packs a dedicated hybrid powertrain.

Kia’s press release today gave nothing away about technical details but earlier reports suggest that it will have a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine assisted by a 47-hp electric motor with a 1.56-kWh battery. A six-speed dual-clutch gearbox will likely put the power to the road.

Penned at Kia’s design studios in California, USA and Namyang, Korea, the Niro is said to “incorporate the practicality and aesthetic allure of a compact SUV, with a sleek, aerodynamic body and subtly sculptured surfaces”.

High-mounted LED taillights complement an uncluttered rear end. The slim character line and rear windows emphasise the car’s sleek profile, while allowing greater room for the Niro’s brawny wheel arches.

Kia Niro HUV (2)

Kia said that the crossover will come with a downsized gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain helping it achieve a sub-90 g/km CO2 emissions rating on the European driving cycle.

It’s believed that the Niro shares its underpinnings with Korean group’s other dedicated hybrid, the Hyundai Ioniq, which will be officially revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

Images: Kia

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