Kia unveiled today two teasers of its future Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle (HUV), Kia’s first dedicated eco-car developed on a new platform. The Kia Niro will boast a brand new design, with a sporty, aerodynamic body, subtly sculptured surfaces.

While the Niro is an all-new model, with no direct predecessors, it will feature the company’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille and a series of other design cues from the latest Kia products. The styling of the new Niro development project has been led by Kia’s design centres in California, USA and Namyang, Korea.

The Kia Niro will target CO2 emissions rating of under 90 g/km. The car will achieve its low emissions levels with a downsized hybrid powertrain, pairing Kia’s 1.6-litre ‘Kappa’ petrol direct injection (GDI) engine (105 hp power output and 147 Nm of torque) with a 1.56 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack and 32 kW electric motor. The powertrain’s combined power output and torque will be applied to the road through a six-speed double-clutch transmission.

Based upon a bespoke new platform, the Kia Niro’s body is made of more than 50% ultra-high strength steel. The platform underpinning the Niro has been engineered specifically to accommodate this next-generation petrol-electric hybrid powertrain. A plug-in hybrid powertrain is due to be added to the car’s line-up later in its life-cycle.

The high-strength platform will not only result in a high safety rating, but also help minimise noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).

The new Kia Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle is due to be unveiled next year, with production for overseas markets scheduled to start in late 2016. The car will be built at Kia’s Hwasung manufacturing facility in Korea.