Kia HabaNiro concept is an AWD electric wonder car for everyone
18 April 2019 - Autoblog
Brand also debuts limited-edition Stinger GTS with RWD-biased dynamic AWD
Kia filled its press release for the HabaNiro concept with so much bombast hoisted aloft by adjectives and acronyms that we don't know what to make of the actual concept. Conceived and designed at the Kia Design Center America (KDCA) in California, the HabaNiro's labeled "a whole new category of mobility – 'The Everything Car' or ECEV." The "fully-electric, all-wheel drive, four-seat wonder car" goes more than 300 miles between charges, has butterfly wing doors and Level 5 autonomy. On the other hand, considering this is a concept, the boasts and technology could be considered humble.
The idea is that the compact four-door crossover is ready and intended to go anywhere, from urban errands to winding roads to "off-roading with confidence to remote wilderness adventures."
The concept is 1.5 inches shorter than the production Kia Niro, six inches wider, three inches taller, on a wheelbase that's 5.2 inches longer. The butch exterior belies the close dimensional relationship, the HabaNiro clad in Snowdrift Pearl White paint set off by Satin Metallic Granite Grey cladding in front and an anodized Lava Red aero panel in back.
The 20-inch wheels wear 265/50 tires, rubber just a fraction shorter than the BFG All-Terrains on the Mercedes-Benz Concept GLB. A satin aluminum skidplate, billet aluminum tow hooks, anodized Lava Red aluminum accents, and LED DRLs that pulse like a heartbeat ensure no one underestimates the conceptual attitude. The undisclosed battery powers two electric motors, one on each axle for e-AWD.
Opening the butterfly doors uncovers a Lava Red interior. Unlike the electric Kia concept in Geneva reveling in its bouquet of screens, the HabaNiro cabin omits rectangular screens, knobs, and buttons. A full-width heads-up display on the windshield provides all the necessary info, projected from an instrument panel that doubles as a touchpad with "Sensory Light Feedback." That, along with the ability to project movies on the screen, sounds great during Level 5 operation. But when a human needs to drive... well, we need to see it in action.
You can also sign us up for demos of the "Perimeter Ventilation System," which "quietly and evenly blows curtain of air throughout the cabin" and sounds like what you get on a Greyhound. And the patterned floor is lit with changeable mood lighting that "reflects onto surfaces within the cabin," which sounds like what you get in the club.
The Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving (R.E.A.D.) System Kia introduced at Consumer Electronics Show gets thrown in, too. The Eye Tracking System monitors the driver's glances, so when he looks at the space where a rearview mirrror should be - but isn't - the system projects a camera-based view of what's behind the crossover.
Kia says "this is no fanciful supercar that will likely never be built, but a prescient look into the future of mobility where automobiles will seamlessly integrate design, capability, usefulness and creativity." It sounds like we'll get the HabaNiro in some more traditional form in the future. Since we haven't heard word of the expected SP Concept/Tusker/Trazor reveal, it's possible this is our (highly) conceptual look at the promised compact crossover.