The new Kia Niro promises to be a stylish electrified crossover, but it won’t be anywhere near as radical as the concept car it draws its inspiration from.
Just as the 2012 Track’ster concept eventually morphed into the second-generation Soul, the 2019 Habaniro show car gives us a few clues about the second-generation Niro.
Like the Track’ster to Soul metamorphosis, the Habaniro’s design will be significantly toned down in its transition to production.
The concept’s butterfly doors and flush-fitting door handles have been, predictably, junked, and the side surfaces are notably flatter.
Although this prototype is fitted with a shroud, we can see it has a version of the concept’s hockey stick-style tail lights.
It also features a lighting pod half way down the front bumper, but we can’t see if the concept’s “shark nose” is also present. If so, the new Niro could be one of the first production Kia models in generations to go without the company’s signature tiger nose grille design.
Like the current model, the next-generation Niro is expected to be offered with three different drivetrains: hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and pure electric.
As such, the new Niro won’t be using Hyundai-Kia’s e-GMP platform, which is designed exclusively for pure electric vehicles.
We know the local arm was interested in importing the current e-Niro, but the lack of CO2 legislation or EV incentives has seen the timeline slip to around 2022, which means if it does come Down Under it will likely be in second-generation guise.