New-generation Kia Optima hybrid and Kia Niro HUV debut.
Kia has made no secret of the fact that it sees more hybrid models in its range in the future and another step towards that has been made at the Chicago Auto Show overnight.
While the models are probably unlikely to arrive in Australia (at least in the short/medium term), Kia today took the covers off a more efficient Optima Hybrid, as well as an all-new plug-in Optima hybrid and debuted the all-new 2017 Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle (HUV).
The offerings making their debut as Kia bosses promise a growing array of eco-friendly cars from the Korean manufacturer before 2020.
Commenting on the Niro HUV, Orth Hedrick, vice-president product planning Kia Motors America, said the company wanted to show that hybrids don’t need to be boring and conservative.
“The Niro hits the sweet spot by offering the best combination of outstanding mpg (fuel efficiency), an engaging driving experience, utility, and most importantly, a stunning design that doesn’t shout ‘hybrid’,”
“The subcompact CUV (Compact Utility Vehicle) market continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments in the world, and the Niro offers a uniquely alluring yet practical package that consumers haven’t seen before.”
Powered by a new-generation weight reducing lithium-ion polymer battery, the Kia Niro promises a healthy output of 109kW and 264Nm and a combined fuel efficiency rating of 4.7L/100km.
Meantime the new-generation Kia Optima Hybrid boasts a 10% improvement in fuel economy over the outgoing model. This is achieved through the introduction of the company’s 2.0 litre GDI four-cylinder engine for the first time to the hybrid version.
A more compact, lighter and more efficient high-density lithium-polymer battery pack also being introduced.
While the Kia Optima PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) is Kia’s first PHEV and is almost identical to the new Optima Hybrid, the big difference though is that you can plug it in, charge it up in three hours and get a range of up to 45km in pure EV mode.
The on-board petrol engine working as a generator to provide power to the electric driving motor once you have depleted the charge.
We will keep you updated in regards to the possible Australian arrival of Kia hybrid models in the future.