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LIVE @ Kia-World: Watch The Niro Hybrid Debut In Chicago
Watch the live reveal of the Kia Niro hybrid crossover at the Chicago Auto Show –> here at the Kia-world.net!
Kia has partnered with The Enthusiast Network – TEN to offer live streaming of their Chicago Auto Show press conference today.
The Windy City is the place where Kia Niro hybrid is going to make its official global premiere.
Also put on display for the very-first time will be the fully-redesigned 2017 Optima Hybrid and Optima Plug-in Hybrid!
Press conference date: Thursday, February 11!
Time USA: 9:30 a.m. EST/6:30 a.m. PST
Time Europe: 4:30 p.m.
Live press conference from Chicago
(UPDATE) Kia unveils Niro, Optima hybrid and Optima plug-in hybrid cars in Chicago
Kia chose Thursday as the day they would unveil the Niro, a compact hybrid crossover, to the world at the Chicago Auto Show.
They also had another pair of hybrids on display, and seemed to be saying the fuel efficiency doesn’t have to mean an abandoning of style.
The Chicago auto show is where Kia have routinely unveiled new vehicles, and they went all out this time around.
It was a rock and roll unveiling of sorts for the hybrids, as music by the likes of Queen and the Rolling Stones served as the backdrop.
As gas prices continue to drop, hybrid sales are diminishing, but that hasn’t stopped Kia from going all in with their eco-friendly moves.
Alongside the Niro, the Koreans also unveiled a new Optima Hybrid, as well as an Optima plug-in hybrid model.
By the time 2020 rolls around, Kia plans on having 11 green models available, a big jump from the 4 that they have right now.
Sales of hybrids are dropping, but the compact crossover segment is booming at the moment.
Kia believes that the style of the Niro will appeal to customers looking to get a vehicle that is a perfect fit for the segment, but which also offers a level of fuel efficiency that you don’t normally find.
Kia Niro hybrid
The exterior style of the car certainly does not immediately make you think of a hybrid, which is something that also goes in its favor.
Under the hood of the Niro you will find a gas engine and an electric motor that combine to crank out 164-hp and 195-lb.-ft. of torque.
The gasoline engine in question is a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder that generates 103-hp.
The electric motor delivers 43-hp, and the whole thing is tied together by a 1.56 kwh lithium-ion polymer battery that is discretely located under the rear seat.
No pricing details have been announced yet, but we do know that the Niro will be on sale early next year.
We also know that the Niro fuel economy figures will hit 50 mpg combined.
Kia Optima hybrid & plug-in hybrid cars
The 4th quarter is when we will see the 2017 Optima Plug-In Hybrid will hit the market.
Kia claims that the vehicle will have a range of 27 miles in full electric mode, and a total driving range of around 600 miles.
The 9.8 kwh lithium-ion battery pack is neatly tucked away under the rear seat and tire well, which allows the Optima Plug-In Hybrid to have one of the largest cabin areas in the segment.
Using a 24-volt charger, the battery can be fully recharged in about 3 hours or less. It takes about 9 hours using a 120-volt charger.
The engine used in the Optima Plug-In Hybrid is the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder GDI that delivers 154-hp. The 50 kwh electric motor is mounted to the transmission.
Optima Hybrid sales dropped off by 16.6% in the US last year, which was pretty much consistent with how the entire hybrid market went.
The redesign of the car and the addition of new features may well get sales heading in the right direction again.
The new Optima Hybrid will generate a combined 193-hp, but will still deliver 10% better fuel economy than the outgoing model.
The engine will be dropping down from the 2.4-liter version to a 2.0-liter variant that cranks out 154-hp.
The electric motor will add another little jolt of power.
Kia believes that the larger cabin, along with the addition of new safety and convenience features will help boost sales of the Optima Hybrid.