CES: Kia Niro EV concept

Kia Niro EV concept

Kia has not officially revealed the upcoming all-electric concept vehicle's identity, however, photos accompanying the automaker's announcement seemingly confirm that it will be the Niro EV.

Since we're talking about a silent EV, Kia fitted it with new technologies meant to enhance safety for pedestrians. That is quite phenomenal for an urban crossover and truth be told, the Niro EV may not be too far from production reality. Range is 383 km - exactly the same as the current Chevrolet Bolt EV.

The Niro EV will be unveiled during Kia's press conference at CES 2018 on Monday, Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. EST.

Most observers had assumed the Niro EV would use the same underpinnings as its corporate sibling the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, just as the pair of hybrids does.

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This Niro packs a 150kW (201bhp) electric motor powered by a 64 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack. That translates into about 201 horsepower, a figure likely to understate the performance of the new model, as electric motors tend to deliver significant torque that comes on quickly at launch. The model was born in Kia's design studio in Korea. It shares some of the same sporty lines as the new Stinger touring sedan, albeit with a ute body. There's one big and obvious change, though - the lack of a standard grille (there's no need for one in an EV), which has been swapped for an interactive display. The idea behind this is to let users at the front and back listen to different music if they like without disturbing each other or without having to use headphones.

The Niro EV is seemingly created to show what's possible in Kia's electric future, so don't expect the vehicle as shown to make it to market. The Niro EV Concept has a driving range of 238 miles. But it will feature semi-autonomous Highway Driving Assist - a technology first introduced on the Stinger - allowing limited hands-off operation on well-marked highways.

Meanwhile, Hyundai has confirmed that an electric version of its Kona SUV is on the way, underpinned by a new electrified platform. For example, the Niro EV Concept is equipped with the new Active Pedestrian Warning System (APWS) which combines front view cameras, object recognition technology and front speakers to alert pedestrians or cyclists crossing in front of the auto.

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