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South Korean carmaker Kia has revealed the funky Habaniro concept at the 2019 New York International Auto Show. The Kia Habaniro concept previews the next-gen Niro EV which is expected to arrive in 2021.
The Habaniro has all the quirks you expect from a concept vehicle, with a snazzy name, bonkers doors and a bright interior, and Level 5 autonomy. Kia calls the Habaniro an 'all-electric Everything Car or ECEV - commuter, crossover, sport utility, state-of-the-art technology workroom and adventure vehicle.'
Up front, the Kia Habaniro concept sports ultra-sleek LED headlights that flank a slimmed down version of the Korean carmaker's trademark Tiger nose grille. The heartbeat pulse of the Habaniro's daytime running lights is a new Kia signature feature and is expected to make its way on to the production car. The square proportions of the Kia Habaniro are also expected to make it onto the production version of the Niro along with the smooth surfacing of the body panels.
The four butterfly doors, on the other hand, are pure concept design fun and will not be seen on the production Niro that hits showrooms in 2021. The production car's interior is also not expected to carry over the extremely bright red theme which sports four large chairs that would look at home in a luxury furniture catalogue.
The Kia Habaniro also features two motors, one on each axle which also makes the EV a four-wheel-drive vehicle. The Habaniro has a claimed range of 483 kilometres (300 miles).
The concept car is also based on a new architecture for electric cars by Kia. The Habaniro is 4,430mm long and has a 2,830mm long wheelbase (75mm longer than the Niro). The wheelbase of the concept Habaniro is 130mm longer than that of the current Niro. The concept car sits on 20-inch wheels clad with rugged tyres.
Speaking about the unveiling of the Kia Habaniro, Tom Kearns, vice president of design for Kia Design Center America (KDCA) said, "We wanted this concept to be comfortable navigating city streets, carving turns on a coastal road and off-roading with confidence to remote wilderness adventures. We imagined a car for everyone and nearly everything. Then, when we saw the finished product, we were blown away by the imagination of the HabaNiro's creators and its laboratory of technology and we want it in our driveways. Today."