Includes voice and facial recognition too

Tested on public roads since 2017, the all-electric version of the Kia Niro was unveiled in concept form at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. As seen in the teaser photos, the Niro EV is pretty much a slightly modified Niro with conceptual features inside and out. While some will make it into production in the future, there’s no word on how many of them will be found in the electric crossover.

Kia Niro EV Unveiled with 238 Miles of Range at CES Exterior
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While the EV is identical to the production Niro in terms of shape and size, the front fascia sports a few unique cues

While the EV is identical to the production Niro in terms of shape and size, the front fascia sports a few unique cues. The headlamps have a triangular cover over their upper sections, with the still visible part boasting a new LED signature with tiny vertical stripes. The triangular cover leaves room for an additional LED stripe at the edges, which is similar to that of the Mazda Vision Coupe concept. The grille has been modified too. The "tigernose" design is still there, but the traditional mesh has been replaced by a body-colored element that also includes a display saying "Hello CES." Quite friendly!

Below, we can see a revised bumper with a wider intake. The standard daytime running lights are gone, replaced by LED units positioned higher and further apart in the bumper. Part of the new "motion graphic" lighting system, the daytime running lights have a three-piece configuration shaped like the letter Y. Onto the sides, the concept has a slightly sportier appearance thanks to the revised side skirts, the black window trim, and the three-spoke, two-tone rims. The wheel arch inserts are also thicker and finished in high-gloss black.

Kia Niro EV Unveiled with 238 Miles of Range at CES Exterior
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The taillights are significantly narrower compared to the production model and sport the same LED pattern as the headlamps with vertical stripes

Changes are a bit more radical around back. The taillights are significantly narrower compared to the production model and sport the same LED pattern as the headlamps with vertical stripes. The rear window extends more into the tailgate to include the "Kia" badge. The tailgate itself is shorter to make way for the beefed-up up bumper. A taller loading area isn’t the best idea to the honest, but this will probably change on the production model. Anyway, the bumper is quite aggressive thanks to its protruding center section with "Niro EV" lettering and big intakes onto the sides with the same "Y" lighting pattern. The ride height also seems higher, although Kia didn’t say anything about enhanced off-road capability.

Surprisingly enough, the interior is quite different. The cluttered center stack is gone, the infotainment screen is placed lower in the dashboard, itself a brand-new design, while the instrument cluster is all digital. The steering wheel has a two-spoke design and a flat bottom, while the center console hosts only the rotary knob for the transmission and a few more buttons. The two-tone upholstery and the copper inserts give the cabin an elegant, premium look. New tech includes facial and vocal recognition, touch and gesture controls (including on the steering wheel), and a dual-zone audio system. A pair of speakers in the headrests and active noise canceling allows front- and rear-seat passengers to listen to two different things simultaneously without headphones. No more fighting over music during those long family trips, huh?

Kia Niro EV Unveiled with 238 Miles of Range at CES Exterior
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The motor is rated at 201 horsepower, significantly more than the 118 horses that come with the [Hyundai Ioniq Electric,->art172657] the car it's supposed to share underpinnings with

Under the skin, the Niro EV concept hides a 150-kW electric motor and a 64-kWh battery pack. The interesting thing here is that the motor is rated at 201 horsepower, significantly more than the 118 horses that come with the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, the car it’s supposed to share underpinnings with. The battery is also significantly larger, up from only 28 kWh. Kia also promises a range of 238 miles, up from the Ioniq’s rather modest 155 miles. That’s pretty impressive and puts the Niro EV on par with the Chevrolet Bolt. Of course, it remains to be seen if the production model arrives with a similar range.

Kia also revealed that it’s planning to launch 16 electrified vehicles by 2025. Five will be hybrids, another five will be plug-in hybrids, five will be fully electric, and one will be a hydrogen-powered, fuel-cell car.

References

Kia Niro

2019 Kia Niro EV Spyshots Exterior
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Could have a different grille

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Kia Niro EV.

2017 Kia Niro High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2017 Kia Niro.

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Read more CES news.

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Read more Kia news.

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