Kia is expanding the Niro range to include a pure electric model and its prototype was spotted testing alongside the new Hyundai Kona EV. A subsidiary of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, it’s not that surprising to see both test mules being developed in tandem.
This is the first time automotive spy photographers has seen the NIro EV testing on public roads and though most of its body is covered by camouflage, we can expect a design similar to the outgoing NIro hybrid. Of course there are going to be a few changes including a set of repositioned fog lights and what seems to be an updated rear bumper.
Much of the Niro EV’s motor and battery specs are still under wraps and what we have to go on are rumors suggesting that the NIro may borrow its powertrain from the Ioniq Electric. If so, we could see a 118 hp electric motor developing 218 lb-ft of torque. A 28 kWh battery delivers an EPA-estimated range of 124 miles, thought mileage will vary with a different frame.
But it was spotted testing alongside the Kona EV, a model which is expected to travel in excess of 240 miles on a single charge. If the Niro Ev was using its Hyundai sibling as a benchmark, then we may see a similar range in it as well.
More information should come when the NIro EV debuts early next year. One thing is for sure, the test driver was not happy with Motor1’s photographer when the above picture was taken.