Kia had one of the coolest concept cars of 2017, and it's kicking off the new year with an all-electric Niro concept that looks like it might be equally impressive. Beyond just a battery-based powertrain, Kia promises an all-new human-machine interface and a "motion graphic" lighting system. Given its advanced tech suite, the car should feel right at home at CES 2018.
Thanks to an illuminated badge at the rear, we know Kia's concept is called the Niro EV. Like the production Niro, it looks to be a fairly straightforward five-door compact crossover. It is more than just a Niro with real or imagined electric power, though. The shadowy preview pictures show thinned out front and rear lighting signatures, and Kia also mentions "motion graphic" lighting, which we presume refers to the digitized version of the tiger nose grille.
Kia also says the Niro EV features a never-before-seen human-machine interface (HMI). While it is holding back the details of that system, it does say that next-generation HMI technology will feature heavily at its CES exhibit.
Next to the Niro EV will be three interactive cockpit exhibits that will show how autonomous driving features, communications tools and other new technologies will reshape the interior experience of Kia vehicles. More specifically, the concept cockpits will highlight new driver-assistance features, HMI technology and what Kia calls the world's first in-car 5G connection.
"Virtual reality, self-driving cars, and full vehicle connectivity were all once considered technologies of the distant future," says Dr. Woong-cheol Yang, vice chairman and head of the Hyundai-Kia R&D Center. "As they rapidly become a reality, Kia is exploring how to adapt these new technologies for its customers."
Kia will hold its CES press conference on January 8, so we'll have more details about the Niro EV and its latest automotive tech then.
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