The all-new Kia Niro hybrid crossover will make its European debut at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show on 1 March.
An all-new low-emissions hybrid crossover, the Niro marks the development of Kia’s first dedicated eco-car platform.
The Kia Niro, engineered from the ground up as a dedicated hybrid vehicle, will offer the practicality and appeal of a spacious crossover, together with the high fuel efficiency of an advanced hybrid powertrain.
The Niro’s all-new platform has been engineered in isolation from existing Kia models, and is designed to accommodate a specific set of technologies and next-generation powertrains.
While the Niro’s hybrid powertrain – made up of a 1.6-litre GDI (gasoline direct injection) engine, lithium-ion polymer battery pack, 32 kW electric motor and six-speed double-clutch transmission – is under development, Kia’s engineers are targeting CO2 emissions of 89 g/km.
The new engine marks the first combination of the Atkinson combustion cycle, cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), petrol direct injection and a long-stroke-narrow-bore specification to maximise efficiency. Efficiency and emissions are further improved via the Niro’s exhaust heat recovery system, which speeds engine warm-up by routing coolant to a heat exchanger in the exhaust system.
Kia has engineered a new Transmission-Mounted Electric Device (TMED) to allow the DCT to work best with the hybrid powertrain. The TMED allows the full output of both the engine and electric motor to be transferred in parallel through the transmission, with minimal loss of energy. This differs from a power-split system, which converts a portion of engine output for delivery through the electric motor, resulting in a loss from energy conversion, as is typical of a CVT-based hybrid. The application of the new TMED also allows the hybrid system to access the battery’s power directly at higher speeds, for more immediate accelerative response.
The 1.56 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack is the lightest and most efficient pack used by Kia to date, with up to 50% higher energy density and 13% greater energy efficiency than the battery packs found in key rivals. Weighing just 33 kg, the Niro’s battery pack – with an advanced power relay – allows the battery to regenerate electrical energy under deceleration.
Following its European debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, the all-new Kia Niro is due to enter full series production in May 2016.
The Kia Niro will go on sale across Europe towards the end of Q3 2016, and – as with every Kia sold in Europe – will come with the brand’s unique 7-Year, 100,000 mile warranty.