Published: Wed, January 10, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

New Kia Niro SUV revealed at CES

New Kia Niro SUV revealed at CES

Connected cars are also part of Kia's long-term plans.

By 2025, Kia Motors will feature a lineup of 16 new EVs; in 2020 a fuel-cell EV will be available.

The first signs of that push for EVs is the Kia Niro EV Concept, making its debut at CES today.

New Kia Niro SUV revealed at CES
New Kia Niro SUV revealed at CES

Kia also made it clear that it's getting serious about electrified vehicles.

The styling changes are pretty noticeable and one of the biggest modifications is the elimination of a traditional grille which is no longer required for engine cooling. The lights have been shrunk down, courtesy of new ultra-slim lamps. It previews the production Niro EV.

A combo of front view cameras, "object recognition tech" and front speakers basically sound an alert specifically at the pedestrian in question, warning them of the car's presence. That panel is created to display information like the battery's charge level.

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Kia says the goal is "an innate sense of space and calm" inside the vehicle, which is enhanced by "soft shades of silver, grey, and bronze" on every piece of the interior. The steering wheel acts as a remote: the driver can "swipe" on a perforated leather area on the base of the two-spoke wheel, with different gestures serving to switch between music tracks, adjust volume and cabin ventilation settings. A digital display shows speed, powertrain, and other trip information. While Kia envisions owners using face recognition and voice control to "log-in" to their cars in the future.

Powering the Niro EV Concept is a 64kWh lithium-polymer battery which drives a single 150kW motor.

While still decidedly concept-y, the Kia Niro EV Concept looks like a fairly realistic image of what we can expect from Kia in the near future.

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Should the system detect a pedestrian or cyclist crossing in front of the auto, the speakers sound an alert targeted specifically at that person, warning them of the car's presence.

Kia's human machine interface supports face and voice recognition that allows the auto to recognize who's piloting it, and then adjust the settings to their programmed preferences.

Kia also announced that it will expand its WiBLE vehicle sharing service - which launched in Korea past year - to select European cities in 2018.

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Last previous year, Kia Motors posted global sales of 2,746,188 units, decreasing 7.8 per cent from 2016. Kia says it'll start that process in Europe, offering one-way trips rather than demanding the vehicle be returned to the same starting point.

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