At the Consumer Electronics Show back in January, Kia showed off a concept for an all-electric variant of the Niro crossover. Now, the automaker has revealed the first images of the production Niro EV ahead of the model’s official debut at the Paris Motor Show this September.
The Niro EV was unveiled at the International Electric Vehicle Expo in Jeju, Korea. Unfortunately, not much of the concept’s sleek exterior design made it to production. The Niro EV’s simulated “tiger nose” grille is blocked off like the concept’s, but overall the front end isn’t nearly as attractive in production guise. Instead of narrow slivers of LED piping, the production model gets more conventional headlights that look closer to those of the standard Niro hybrid and plug-in.
The hardware hasn’t changed, however, as the production Niro EV debuted with the same 64-kilowatt-hour lithium-polymer battery pack as the concept. Kia says that battery will offer more than 450 km (roughly 280 miles) of range, though it’s unclear what testing standard that estimate is based on. Back in January, Kia claimed a Chevy Bolt-matching 238 miles of range, which we think is probably closer to an official EPA figure given that the battery’s size is close to the Bolt’s. A 39.2-kWh battery pack will also be available. Other than the battery options, Kia didn’t share many details about the production Niro EV’s drivetrain. The concept packed a 150-kW (roughly 201-hp) electric motor, which matches the rating of the upcoming big-battery Hyundai Kona Electric, so that’s likely a safe bet for the production Niro EV as well.
The Kia Niro EV will go on sale in Korea in the second half of 2018 and will be introduced to other markets shortly after. One of those markets could be the U.S., but Kia so far has made no announcement on U.S. availability. Expect to learn more at the Paris Motor Show later this year.