Kia to debut new EV crossover concept at CES

All electric sub-compact crossover will also debut new technologies

Joe Duarte
Published: January 6, 2018, 9:05 PM
Updated: January 11, 2018, 3:44 AM

Kia Niro EV concept

Kia will unveil its latest concept, an all-electric sub-compact crossover, at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2018) in Las Vegas.

Kia Niro EV concept

Perhaps not unexpected is that the teaser images released by Kia peg the name at Niro EV. Niro is the name of the hybrid crossover Kia debuted for the 2017 model year, with the promise that the model offerings would expand to include a plug-in hybrid and an all-electric version.

The PHEV doesn’t require too much work to adopt to the powertrain, but an electric version demands a bit more attention. It seems Kia is taking the same route it did with the electric Soul, adapting the model design so it’s instantly recognized, but then changing cues here and there (such as a neon-lit faux grille) to give it its own character.

2017 Kia Niro

On the Niro EV concept, the exterior lights are narrower and LED. The concept will also preview and new motion graphic lighting system, which means owners will be able to create the illusion of a unique vehicle just by changing colours and patterns of things like the faux grille up front. As a step toward autonomous driving, a new human/machine interface (HMI) also debuts on the concept vehicle, as does the world’s first in-car 5G connection.

“Virtual reality, self-driving cars, and full vehicle connectivity were all once considered technologies of the distant future,” says said Dr. Woong-cheol Yang, Vice Chairman and Head of Hyundai-Kia R&D Centre. “As they rapidly become a reality, Kia is exploring how to adapt these new technologies for its customers. At CES we will share our strategy and vision for future mobility, and exhibit a range of advanced technologies that our customers can look forward to.”

We’ll find out more about the concept, its powertrain and features, as well as its production plans, when it is introduced in Las Vegas this coming week.