2018 Kia Niro PHEV marks North American debut at 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show

Article by Christian A., on December 4, 2017

Kia first unveiled the Niro PHEV at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, where it said it would go on sale in sale in the third quarter of 2017. Now, the US version of the Niro PHEV has made its debut in LA, sales in the country expected to commence in 2018. Once sales go online, the new 2018 Kia Niro PHEV will be available in three trim levels: LX, EX and EX Premium.

The new Niro PHEV has all the same packaging and driving enjoyment offered by the Niro hybrid. However, it has a number of elements that identify it as a PHEV. These include “ECO/Plug-In” badges, hybrid blue exterior accents, a charge port door (on left front fender) as well as tweaked front grille insert and surround. It comes available with LED headlamps and seven-inch color meter cluster with digital tachometer.

As a plug-in hybrid, the new Niro PHEV employs a combination of an all-aluminum 1.6-liter GDI (gasoline direct injection) four-cylinder engine and an 60-hp (44.5 kW) electric motor for a total system output of 139 hp and combined torque of 195 lb.-ft. This is backed by an 8.9 kWh (59 kW) lithium-polymer battery pack. Thanks to the higher capacity of the battery capacity (plus 7.34 kWh more than the Niro hybrid), the Niro PHEV boasts of fuel economy rating of 105 MPGe.

Its EPA-estimated MPG ratings (48 mpg city, 44 mpg highway and 46 mpg combined) are at par with those of Niro hybrid. When both the conventional engine and the electric motor are work, the Niro PHEV could travel as far as 560 miles. During all-electric mode, the Niro PHEV has a range of 26 miles. Charging the battery to its full capacity takes around 2.5 hours on a 240V (Level 2) charger, and under nine hours on a 120V (Level 1) charger.

Power is sent to the wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT), the same gearbox found in the Niro hybrid. Four driving modes are available: Eco mode, EV mode, Hybrid mode, and Sport mode.

Just like its hybrid sibling, the Niro PHEV could accommodate five occupants. It comes standard with a number of advanced driver assistance and convenience systems like Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS) and Smart Cruise Control (SCC). Available technologies include Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Lane Change Assist (LCA), as well as front and rear parking sensors.

Press Release

KIA MOTORS AMERICA INTRODUCES 2018 NIRO PLUG-IN HYBRID CROSSOVER AT LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW

The 2018 Niro Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) brings an exciting new dimension to Kia’s alternative fuel car line-up. As Kia’s third plug-in model, and anticipated in retailer showrooms by the end of this year, the Niro PHEV offers the same crossover utility, fun-driving and winning design of the Niro hybrid, but with an estimated 26-miles of All-Electric Range.1

“The Niro Plug-in is the exciting next step in Kia’s progression toward offering more alternative fuel vehicles by 2020,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, Kia Motors America (KMA). “Consumers who are intrigued by the Niro hybrid’s fantastic versatility and design, but want even more EcoDynamics technology and the ability to drive only using electric power, will find more to love in the Niro Plug-in Hybrid.”

Rated at an EPA-estimated 26 miles of All-Electric Range1, Niro PHEV can help some drivers consume less gasoline in most driving conditions[5] and in all-electric mode it produces zero emissions. And with the total driving range rated at up to an estimated 560 miles[6], it offers fantastic versatility. With Niro Plug-in Hybrid you can have it all—pure EV daily driving and the ability to take long road trips.

The Niro Plug-in Hybrid is yet another vehicle introduced under the Kia Motors EcoDynamics sub-brand and represents an important next step on the path to nearly tripling the brand’s global lineup of alternative fuel vehicles by 2020, which includes the Niro, Optima Hybrid, Optima PHEV and the Soul EV. The new Niro Plug-in Hybrid offers all the same feature-rich packaging and driving fun of the hybrid Niro, but with a few PHEV-exclusive touches, such as a subtly-modified front grille insert and surround, hybrid blue exterior accents, available LED headlamps, a charge port door (on left front fender), available 7-inch color meter cluster with digital tachometer and “ECO/Plug-In” badges.

Efficient and Engaging Powertrain

The Niro PHEV pairs an all-aluminum, efficient 1.6-liter GDI (gasoline direct injection) four-cylinder engine with an 8.9 kWh (59 kW) lithium-polymer battery pack and a powerful 60-HP (44.5 kW) electric motor, a set-up for optimum fuel efficiency and electrically driven range. While the Niro PHEV boasts an MPGe rating of 105, its EPA-estimated MPG ratings of 48 mpg city, 44 mpg highway and 46 mpg/combined are similar to those of Niro hybrid. The estimated driving range when both electric and gasoline systems work together is up to 560 miles6.

Increased high-voltage battery capacity (+7.34 kWh more than Niro hybrid) and output/power have helped make the Niro Plug-in Hybrid an efficient, low emissions crossover with a 105 MPGe rating. The Niro PHEV’s compact, high voltage battery is neatly tucked under the cargo floor and under the rear seat and maintains the same spacious cargo capacity as the Niro hybrid. A single charging port is located in the driver’s side front fender. A full charge can be achieved in approximately 2.5 hours via a 240V (Level 2) charger[7], and under 9 hours via a 120V (Level 1) charger.

The Niro PHEV employs the same six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT) as the Niro, which translates to more enjoyable and engaging driving. Drivers can choose from several driving modes, including EV mode, Hybrid mode, (default) Eco mode, or Sport mode for quicker transmission response that takes advantage of the powertrain’s combined output of 139 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque.

Another notable energy-conserving feature is the Driver-Only Air Conditioning, which directs the ventilation toward the driver only and decreases the power consumption of the air conditioning system.

Strong and Light Core

The lightweight structure underpinning the Niro Plug-in Hybrid is built on the same dedicated platform as the conventional Niro, utilizing over 50 percent Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS). Extensive use of hot-stamped steel components and industrial joint adhesive aims to increase torsional rigidity and improve structural integrity. Kia is targeting the Niro and Niro PHEV to earn top honors from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS).

Weight reduction was a critical aspect of developing the Niro PHEV, so in addition to the body, AHSS was also used to engineer other elements including lightweight seat frames. Engineers were also able to reduce overall weight by using aluminum for the hood, tailgate and several suspension elements including the front lower control arms, front and rear knuckles, and in the brake calipers.

Feature-Rich

Like the Niro hybrid, the Niro PHEV seats five and offers the same great crossover functionality and generous cargo capacity. The Niro PHEV will be offered in three trim levels—LX, EX and EX Premium.

In addition, the Niro PHEV is offered with a suite of advanced driver assistance and convenience technologies[8], including Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Lane Change Assist (LCA), and front and rear parking sensors; while Smart Cruise Control (SCC); Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB); Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS) are all standard.

The Niro Plug-in Hybrid also includes UVO eco[9] which extends Kia’s award-winning connectivity service by offering convenience and safety features tailored to eco-minded drivers. With UVO eco, drivers can remotely[10] monitor and charge their vehicle’s high-voltage battery; setup charging schedules to take advantage of off-peak utility rates; preset the vehicle’s cabin temperature, turn on window defrosters, and heat the steering wheel, lock or unlock doors, and find their vehicle from their smartphone or web enabled device.

About Kia Motors America

Headquartered in Irvine, California, Kia Motors America continues to top quality surveys and is recognized as one of the 100 Best Global Brands and 50 Best Global Green Brands by Interbrand. Kia serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and LPGA and offers a complete range of vehicles sold through a network of nearly 800 dealers in the U.S., including cars and SUVs proudly built in West Point, Georgia.*

For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com. To receive custom email notifications for press releases the moment they are published, subscribe at www.kiamedia.com/us/en/newsalert.

* The Sorento and Optima GDI (EX, SX & Limited and certain LX Trims only) are assembled in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts.

Source: Kia

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