As expected, Kia Corporation has debuted its redesigned Niro, complete with new features focused on efficiency and sustainability. As either a hybrid, PHEV or all-electric model, the new Kia Niro represents the Korean carmaker’s growing focus on reducing emissions.
Niro debuted as a new hybrid vehicle in the 2017 model year. It has since been joined by a PHEV version, as well as an all-electric model that debuted in 2018, and shares a driveline configuration with its Hyundai Motor Group cousin, the Kona EV.
In June, we covered the news that Kia announced its 2021 Niro EV, albeit with minimal changes compared to its 2020 predecessor. Kia is now announcing the 2022 Niro EV on its US website.
Despite that, Kia Corporation started teasing photos of a brand new Niro earlier this week, which will debut at the Seoul Mobility Show in 2021[ads1]. Well, thanks to a 17+ hour time difference, we now have the first photos of a brand new Niro designed from scratch.
The new Kia Niro debuts with a new face and sustainable materials
In a press release from Seoul, Kia officially unveiled an overhauled Niro, designed from the ground up with the HabaNiro concept from 2019 in mind. This is evident in Niro’s redesigned front end, which embodies Kia’s signature “tiger face” which now extends from the hood through the lower screen, highlighted by “heartbeat” LED daytime running lights (DRL).
A major focus that was continued by the Kia team during the debut was sustainability and a cleaner future for transportation. The car manufacturer presented this commitment via the interior of the new Niro, which has roofing made from recycled wallpaper, seats made from bio-based polyurethane and Tencel (textile) made from eucalyptus leaves.
Finally, the door panels were painted with water-based, BTX-free paint to minimize environmental impact and waste. Kia President and CEO Sung Song spoke at the event in Seoul:
Kia continues to take steps towards a more sustainable future, and invites everyone to join the movement into the new mobility era. The all-new Kia Niro makes it easy to practice a sustainable lifestyle with its environmentally friendly materials, advanced technology and electric powertrains while meeting customers’ practical needs.
The PHEV version of the Niro comes with a new feature called “Greenzone Drive Mode”, which automatically switches to electric power under options for more efficient mobility based on navigation signals and driving habits.
Green zones can be, for example, residential areas, nearby schools or even hospitals. The vehicle can also recognize a driver’s most visited places and register them as green zones.
No further specifications are available at the moment, but it’s not unreasonable to think that Kia America will make its own debut announcement for the US version of the Niro, and hopefully provide more details on battery capacity, range and price … you know, stuff you readers always ask.
So far, we only know that the 2nd generation Niro will be available sometime next year. There is guaranteed to be more.
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