Home Page About Us Contribute

Escort, Inc.

Tweets by @CrittendenAuto

By accessing/using The Crittenden Automotive Library/CarsAndRacingStuff.com, you signify your agreement with the Terms of Use on our Legal Information page. Our Privacy Policy is also available there.

Kia Niro’s Waiting, Talking Korean

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Kia Niro

Kia Niro’s Waiting, Talking Korean

Geoff Maxted
September 18, 2013

Kia Niro
Playful but gutsy, sturdy yet impish; not my words thankfully, but rather those of Korean auto manufacturer Kia who showed this dramatic new urban-lifestyle concept at Frankfurt. It’s called the Niro (amusing puns etc, start here) which apparently means a type of stainless steel. The car is aimed squarely at the B-segment of the market, taking on the likes of the ever popular Juke.

Although it’s just a concept for now it seems very likely that there will be a production version, possibly as early as 2015. Entry is by dihedral “butterfly” doors that open into the roof panel and swing up high and with low-set flush handles. Mounted directly onto the side windows are milled “Plexiglas” door mirrors with in-built downward-facing cameras. Whether or not these features actually make it onto the production line remains to be seen. Not really sure that the car parks of Britain are yet ready for up swinging doors. Why; you could have someone’s eye out with that!

The menacingly dark “Nightfall” (their words again) coloured exterior is sharply and attractively offset by a brushed, stainless steel roof which gives the car its name. Enveloping the entire cabin, this two-finish construction gives a unique and strongly technological edge to Niro’s appearance. It works for me - this is a very striking design.

At the rear, as well as a rearward-facing video camera the functioning tailgate on the concept hides a secret. Part of the rear light cluster swings up as an essential element of the hatch architecture to give good light and visibility into the cargo space, leaving behind the secondary section of the cluster to ensure safety by ensuring other road users can still see the car in the dark. Clever stuff.

The Niro comes with a variant of Kia’s turbocharged 1.6-litre ‘Gamma’ engine, developing 160ps. The engine and seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission serve only the front wheels but an electric-hybrid system, powered from regenerative braking, delivers up to 45ps to the rear wheels – when road conditions require extra grip. A suggestion is that a smaller 1.0L economy engine may also make an appearance if the car is built.

There doesn’t seem to be any point to banging on about how the car looks. As you can see from the images the Niro has a squat and determined look about it which is futuristic and not unattractive. How much of the ‘Jetsons’ appeal would end up on the forecourts remains to be seen. No doubt the car will feature all the very latest tech available at a price point said to be about the same as the Juke; but not so much of what’s on this example, which includes a display for altitude and also a handy compass for those tricky shopping trips.

The question is: will Kia make it? They are in the process of gauging public opinion. If you really want one then get down to your local Kia dealer and demand your voice be heard. They need to be sure - the B-segment is already a packed playground with some highly regarded competition. However, Kia is a company that has come on in leaps and bounds and already offers popular choices like the C’eed, so why not?

Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library

The Crittenden Automotive Library at Google+ The Crittenden Automotive Library on Facebook The Crittenden Automotive Library on Instagram The Crittenden Automotive Library at The Internet Archive The Crittenden Automotive Library on Pinterest The Crittenden Automotive Library on Twitter The Crittenden Automotive Library on Tumblr

The Crittenden Automotive Library

Home Page    About Us    Contribute