Kia teases hybrid Niro crossover

The Kia Niro will take on the Honda HR-V and the Jeep Renegade.

Kia has published a pair of teaser sketches that preview a brand new crossover dubbed Niro.

The Niro shares little more than a name with the sporty-looking Niro Concept that was presented at the 2013 edition of the Frankfurt Motor Show. Instead, it seemingly borrows styling cues such as a wide tiger nose grille, a tall belt line, and horizontal tail lamps from the bigger 2017 Sportage.

WorldCarFans has learned the Niro will launch with an evolution of the gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain that's designed to power Hyundai's upcoming Prius-fighting sedan. The setup will consist of a naturally-aspirated 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine tuned to make about 105 horsepower and 108 lb-ft. of torque, and a small electric motor linked to a compact battery pack. Fuel economy figures haven't been published yet.

A non-hybrid version of the crossover will also be available, though it's too early to tell if it will be sold in the United States. At the other end of the spectrum, a more efficient plug-in hybrid model will be introduced a little later in the production run.

Aimed at the Honda HR-V and the Jeep Renegade, the Kia Niro is scheduled to go on sale early next year, meaning it will likely land as a 2017 model. Whether it will greet the public this week at the Los Angeles Motor Show or early next year at the Detroit Motor Show is anyone's guess at this point.

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