The second-gen Kia Niro crossover has been teased ahead of its public debut at the 2021 Seoul Mobility Show later this week. The new Niro is the latest in a series of important unveilings from the marque as it transitions to becoming a "sustainable mobility solutions provider".
- Will borrow styling cues from 2019 HabaNiro concept
- Expected to be offered with hybrid, PHEV and all-electric powertrains
- New all-electric e-Niro expected to arrive in India by 2023
Just a week after showing its radical EV9 large SUV concept, Kia will present the production-ready version of its reinvented compact crossover at the Seoul Mobility Show. The Niro was Kia's first electric production car and the precursor to a whole family of bespoke EVs like the new EV6. Unlike the EV6, however, the e-Niro uses an adapted version of a combustion car's platform, and this is expected to be the case for the second-gen model.
Whether Kia will continue to offer a full suite of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric powertrains remains to be confirmed.
New Kia Niro: design and interior
What is clear from the first official preview images is that the Niro will lean heavily on styling cues first shown on 2019's HabaNiro concept, which means it will be more overtly SUV-styled with rugged elements to promote an "adventure-ready attitude".
As with the EV9 concept, the new Niro has been inspired by nature, as part of Kia's sustainability drive. It will, the brand said, have a design "that connects eco-friendliness with fun and driving pleasure".
Visible details include a two-tone paint scheme – not available on the current car – and a new-look front end with a reworked version of Kia's 'tiger nose' grille.
Interior sketches reveal an all-new layout modelled on that of the new EV6, with an asymmetrical centre console, a two-spoke steering wheel and a wide-format twin-screen dashboard.
New Kia Niro: will it come to India?
Shifting focus to the Indian market, the second-gen Niro is expected to make it to India in its all-electric guise. The Korean carmaker and its sister firm Hyundai are eyeing the launch of up to six all-electric models (three each) by 2024. These include the purpose-built Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 – both built on the carmaker’s E-GMP platform – and made-for-India mass-market EVs which are expected to arrive in 2024.
The new e-Niro is expected to come via the CKD route, like the Hyundai Kona Electric, with a launch likely sometime in 2023.