Not only is the Kia Niro super cool looking, Top Speed reports that it’s being tested as a plug-in hybrid to debut as an addition to the Kia lineup.
And why wouldn’t they be considering making it real? Look at it! It has doors that open up and toward you (they’re called scissor doors)!
The thing about Kia is that it’s been looking to break into a higher bracket. The K900 was a great attempt, but it hasn’t been leaping off the lots, stellar luxury sedan that it is.
The Niro takes the idea (soul?) of the Soul, and adds one part Tesla to one part Jeep. With a high ground clearance and oversized tires, it can do the off-roading that the Wrangler likes to think is its exclusive territory.
And from a design perspective, the Niro is quite svelte, which is exactly what Tesla is trying to do with its new SUV. Heck, even their doors open in similar fashions (the Tesla has gullwing doors).
But if Kia can offer the looks of Tesla, the off-roading of Jeep, and the price-point and warranty of itself, it would have a trifecta.
To aid its upscale look, it borrows the headlight technology of the K900. The tow hooks on its rear bumper are a toxic shade of green that pops up throughout the vehicle.
On the inside, the steering wheel is covered in suede because it feels awesome to the touch (you have to try it). Also, instead of a traditional center console, driver controls are fitted onto two stalks that also serve as grab-bars.
These offer the hand a natural way to manipulate controls, and also make the car feel less like an appliance and more like an instrument. These stalks are some of the best integrations of form with function that we’ve seen in a while, and they keep the interior feeling pared down and easy-to-use.
We wouldn’t be surprised to hear more news about the Niro in the next six months. In the mean time, come to Leith Autopark Kia today to check out the rest of Kia’s lineup.