Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the future! It’s the future of automobiles at the 2019 New York International Auto Show, having just started and running from April 19 to April 28, 2019. Many automakers have been tight-lipped before debuting any concepts this year at NAIAS, but Kia Motors was quick to start making noise a week before, and now we know why. Along with the reveal of their Kia Stinger GTS Limited Edition, Kia Motors has debuted a concept that could change the auto industry forever. Of course, like other autonomous vehicle concepts, that could be a long ways away.
The Kia HabaNiro
Although “Niro” is a part of the name as a play on words, Kia Motors isn’t bringing us another rendition of the Kia Niro like they did with the many concepts of the Kia Telluride prior to its release. The Kia Niro EV, also known as the e-Niro in Europe, has already been a success. No, the HabaNiro is its own bread-and-butter design set to be an all-electric Everything Car or ECEV. Use it to commute, as a crossover, get rough like it’s an SUV, go on an adventure, or have a state-of-the-art technology workroom. Yes, that last one hinges on an autonomous vehicle, and the HabaNro concept comes with level-five autonomy.
“We wanted this concept to be comfortable navigating city streets, carving turns on a coastal road and off-roading with confidence to remote wilderness adventure…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.” -Tom Kearns, vice president of design for Kia Design Center America (KDCA).
Although the HabaNiro may fall into the compact crossover segment, the design of the vehicle blurs the lines of them all. A four-seat wonder car with butterfly wing doors make for a spectacle, and its protective metallic grey cladding contrasted by bright “Lava Red” aero panel and roof create a sense of vibrant energy. We swear, we think there’s a spy in the auto industry or automotive designs are starting to mesh together because the below image looks a lot like the Mitsubishi e-Evolution concept.