It looks like Kia is going to debut a brand new crossover concept at the New York Auto Show.
And it’s probably going to be electric.
Kia has been quietly making brilliant small cars for quite some time now. They’ve recently upgraded to the larger luxury segment in the Kia Stinger, and it has impressed pretty much anyone who’s sat behind its steering wheel.
The Kia Niro is also an impressive compact crossover. It comes with a variety of economical powertrains, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and now fully electric. And it looks like Kia is doing something to spice things up since they’re unveiling a new one called the Habaniro at the New York Auto Show.
Revealed in a newsletter regarding the show, the Habaniro is impressive and also a little confusing. First, it has a bunch of off-road features such as a large, prominent skid plate in the front and big, bulky all-terrain tires wrapped around large alloy wheels. There might even be some tiny tow hooks in the front bumper if you squint.
The rest of the Habaniro is all flash. There’s a bright LED bar running across the front fascia, along with dark grey paneling that extends to the fenders and along the sides of the body in a Z pattern. Note the complete lack of a tiger-nose, which is unusual for modern Kias.
There’s a dark-colored cabin and a bright splash of red in the rear pillars, apparently done to remind the viewer of a ripe habanero chili.
Other features include a complete lack of side mirrors (presumably replaced by cameras that display the car’s blind spots on some internal screen), a complete lack of door handles (presumably recessed somewhere), and a complete lack of a visible charging port of gas cap (although either of those could just be on the other side of the vehicle even though Kias normally place it on the driver’s side).
Judging by the name we expect this concept to be somewhat related to the current model Kia Niro, so we might be in store for the same hybrid, PHEV, and EV powertrains. Or this might be an off-road electric crossover to take on the Tesla Model Y. We’ll find out next week when the Habaniro takes a bow on April 17th.