Kia Motors has unveiled the Niro EV at the 2018 Busan International Motor Show in Korea. With a range of 450 kilometres, the all-electric Niro EV combines driving enjoyment with eye-catching design, and crossover utility with a zero-emissions powertrain.
In addition to the Niro EV, Kia Motors also unveiled two other vehicles at the Busan Interntional Motor Show. The Kia SP Concept – first unveiled at the 2018 AutoExpo in India – makes its Korean debut, and hints at Kia’s future SUV design vision. The Kia Stinger GT Wide Body also makes its Korean debut, following its introduction at the 2017 SEMA show in Las Vegas in the USA.
Kia’s star of the Busan show, the Niro EV occupies a unique position in the market as an all-electric compact crossover. Intelligent packaging, high practicality, and a long-distance driving range mean the Niro EV offers fewer compromises than other electric vehicles. Buyers will also benefit from a range of EV-exclusive in-car technologies, new safety features, and stand-out exterior and interior design.
Emilio Herrera, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors Europe, commented:
The Soul EV – Kia’s first globally-sold electric vehicle – has proved popular with European buyers, with growing interest in zero-emissions vehicles. The Niro’s new all-electric powertrain rounds off a trio of low-emissions powertrains available to European buyers, alongside the current hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions. A combination of cool crossover design and advanced powertrains led to more than 28,000 Niro sales across Europe in 2017, making it one of our best-selling models. The Niro EV further demonstrates the progress Kia has made in delivering comfortable, practical and fun-to-drive vehicles that lead the way in zero-emissions driving.
Following the Busan Motor Show, the Niro EV will go on sale in Korea during the second half of 2018, and will be introduced to other markets – including Europe – in due course. UK on-sale date, pricing and specification will be announced in due course.
Futuristic design inspired by 2018 Niro EV Concept
Designed at Kia’s design centres in California, USA and Namyang, Korea, the Niro EV incorporates the practicality and appeal of a compact crossover in a sleek, aerodynamic body with subtly sculptured surfaces. The Niro EV demonstrates that, in seeking greater on-road efficiency, EV buyers need not sacrifice emotionally engaging design or crossover versatility. The Niro EV differentiates itself from the existing Niro Hybrid and Niro Plug-in Hybrid with a series of exclusive design features.
Taking inspiration from the Niro EV Concept unveiled at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the exterior of the Niro EV is based on a ‘Clean and High-tech’ design concept. Its futuristic and aerodynamic ‘tiger-nose’ grille features an integrated charging port, bearing a debossed Niro logo. Redesigned air intakes and new arrowhead-shaped LED daytime running lights combine with light blue trim highlights to make it stand out further.
In profile, the slim character line and tapered rear windows emphasise the car’s sleek profile, while allowing greater room for the Niro EV’s muscular wheel arches. The Niro EV rides on new five-spoke 17-inch aluminium alloy wheels with a diamond-cut two-tone finish, housing Kia’s regenerative braking system.
At the back, reshaped rear bumpers feature similar light blue highlights to those found at the front of the car, while new LED rear lights give the Niro EV its own light signature.
Modern interior with EV-specific technologies and crossover utility
Inside the Niro EV, the cabin combines a modern design with generous space and technologies that complement its zero-emissions powertrain. Revealed for the first time today, the interior of the Niro EV is differentiated from other Niro models with a range of new features and design elements. The dashboard features new light blue trim, echoing that of the exterior, while the design of the centre console has been simplified to accommodate the car’s shift-by-wire drive selector – Kia’s first ‘dial’-style shift knob.
The Niro EV features a new mood lighting system, with subtle lighting illuminating both the centre console and the shifter. Occupants can choose from six colours – white, grey, bronze, red, green, and blue. New high-gloss black and blue trim also lines the doors of the Niro EV, further enhancing the futuristic atmosphere of the cabin.
The Niro’s 7.0-inch touchscreen HMI (Human-Machine Interface) remains at the centre of the dashboard, but has been updated to offer a series of EV-specific features. The new infotainment system enables owners to locate nearby charging points and monitor the level of charge and range remaining from the battery pack. The instrument cluster – a 7.0-inch colour-LCD display – is also unique to the Niro EV, enabling the driver to intuitively check driving and EV powertrain information on-the-move. The redesigned centre console also creates more storage space at the base of the dashboard for smaller items – including a wireless smartphone charger. A lamp is integrated into the top of the dashboard, with a light displaying whether the battery pack is recharging or fully charged when plugged in. This enables owners to quickly see the car’s charging status at a glance from outside the car.
When the Niro was first launched in 2016, its new platform had been engineered to accommodate a variety of advanced powertrains. Now launched with a battery-electric powertrain, the Niro EV offers greater practicality and versatility by design than many other EVs.
Its 2,700-mm wheelbase ensures all occupants can enjoy generous legroom, while space and a sense of roominess is boosted by its crossover design. Its body is 1,805 mm wide and 1,560 mm tall, ensuring maximum head- and shoulder-room throughout the cabin. At 4,375 mm in length, it offers more cargo space – 451 litres (VDA) – than many other plug-in and electric vehicles.
450-kilometre driving range from next-generation all-electric powertrain
The Kia Niro EV has been designed to merge its sporty, crossover-inspired design with long-distance, zero-emissions driving ability and enjoyable performance. It achieves this with a next-generation electric vehicle powertrain, using new production technologies earmarked for Kia EVs.
In Europe, the Niro EV will be equipped with a high-capacity 64 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack, providing a driving range of more than 450 kilometres on a single charge with zero emissions. Plugged into a 100 kW fast charger, it takes 54 minutes to recharge the Niro EV’s battery to 80 per cent. Buyers will also be to specify their Niro EV with an optional 39.2 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack, with a range of up to 300 kilometres from a single charge.
Power is provided to the front wheels through a 150 kW (204 ps) motor, producing 395Nm torque from a standstill, enabling the Niro EV to accelerate from 0 to 100 kph in just 7.8 seconds. The battery pack is located low down in the body, beneath the trunk floor, giving the crossover a centre of gravity more akin to that of a sedan or a hatchback, ensuring maximum stability – and driving enjoyment – on winding roads.
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems
Matching the next-generation nature of its powertrain, the Niro EV offers drivers a range of Kia’s ‘Advanced Driver Assistance Systems’, supporting drivers in various environments and driving scenarios to mitigate the risk of collisions.
Active safety systems available in the Niro EV include Forward Collision Warning with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Smart Cruise Control with Intelligent Stop & Go, and Lane Following Assist. Lane Following Assist is a ‘Level Two’ autonomous driving technology which tracks vehicles in front of the car in traffic, and detects road markings to keep the Niro EV in its lane on the motorway.
The system controls acceleration, braking and steering depending on the convoy of vehicles in front, using external sensors to maintain a safe distance. Lane Following Assist operates between 0 and 130 kph.