2013 Frankfurt: Kia shows the Niro urban-lifestyle concept [Live Photos]

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 13, 2013

Kia has introduced the new Niro urban-lifestyle concept at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. This concept is a potential competitor at the B-segment with its style and sturdiness as well as its playful looks that makes it ideal for city dwellers. The concept was created due to Kia’s desire to offer new compact-car options for the demanding driver.

The concept has features that are rarely found in smaller cars. Kia’s Frankfurt Design Studio in Europe developed the concept in consideration of what Europeans expect. Niro provides a nearly counter-4x4 figure to the smaller B-segment. Niro is muscular and tough and is relatively smaller. It is built on an all-new platform that will serve as the basis of upcoming B-segment products from Kia.

It has a striking two-tone exterior appearance that’s enhanced by its wheel-at-each-corner stance. While the design team intended it to be muscular, it has measurements (4,185cm overall length, 1,850cm width and 1,558cm height) that positions it in the city-car range. Its exterior has a dark “Nightfall” finish that is beautifully offset by a brushed, stainless steel roof.

The entire cabin uses this two-finish design, giving Niro a technological edge. The car is fitted with running-board type “blades” above the lower side-sills. This is complemented by similar creases in the front and rear lower valances. In keeping with the car’s chunky outline, it has a 2,590cm wheelbase and 1,630cm track to make sure that it’s solidly planted on the road and offers a lot of internal space.

In addition, the concept features the signature “tiger-nose” grille outline, front and rear towing hooks, and bonnet-located air outlet. Several other elements are emphasized with the use of anodised “Limelight” aluminium. The Niro has a low cabin glasshouse and an intentionally angled front valance, making it appear assertive and purposeful.

Furthermore, the front valance’s air vent holes are asymmetrically arranged, similar to those on the Provo concept in Geneva. Its bold front appearance is highlighted by an ice-cube light arrangement with dip and main beam lights, strip daytime running lights around the edge of the lighting housing and also built-in quartered spot lights.

It is fitted with a rearward-facing video camera. What’s interesting is that a portion of the rear light cluster swings up as a necessary element of the hatch architecture so that the cargo space is properly lighted. So then, the secondary section of the cluster can guarantee safety by allowing road users to see the car even in the dark. Niro is powered by a version of Kia’s turbocharged 1.6-litre ‘Gamma’ engine, producing 160ps. Its engine and seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission drive just the front wheels but an electric-hybrid system, which gets its power from regenerative braking, offers up to 45ps to the rear wheels when additional grip is needed due to certain road conditions.

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