Kia HabaNiro Debuts As The Spiciest Little Electric Crossover We've Seen

The Kia HabaNiro is the electric crossover with space-age tech that we wish could be on the road now.

Kia Habaniro Concept

Kia has an interesting vision of the future portrayed in the HabaNiro concept crossover.

Welcome to the HabaNiro, or as Kia’s "vision of the future of electric vehicles” which is both “hot and spicy,” as the Korean carmaker tells it. The name is an obvious take on the Kia Niro, which is a current model crossover with a variety of powertrains, including a hybrid and electric model.

Since this is the future, the HabaNiro is focused on the electric side of things, with an all-electric powertrain with twin electric motors (one front, one rear) and a battery-only range of 300 miles.

Kia doesn’t seem to like to tie the HabaNiro down with modern conventions, however. They bill this concept as the "all-electric Everything Car or ECEV – commuter, crossover, sport utility, state-of-the-art technology workroom, and adventure vehicle." That’s a lot for a little car to contain, but Kia gives it the old college try.

Kia Habaniro Concept
via Kia

Starting with the outdoors, the HabaNiro comes with big 20-inch wheels pushed to the edges of the chassis and wrapped in all-terrain tires. Aluminum skid plates protect the underside while two hooks are available front and back to either get the HabaNiro into or out of trouble. Electric AWD is standard.

Rather than the classic tiger-nose design that Kia is famous for, the HabaNiro opts for a "shark’s snout, complete with a slit-like gap full of gloss black aluminum ‘teeth’ similar to the cooling blades found on high-end electronic equipment."


Butterfly doors with recessed handles and a full-width LED headlight bar complete the HabaNiro’s futuristic look.

On the inside, that futurism continues with a cockpit that is out of this world. There’s no instrument panel, no climate control panel, no center console. Everything is controlled on a dashboard that doubles as a touchscreen, while all pertinent info is displayed on a full-width front windshield Heads-Up Display (HUD) system. If you want to change what is displayed, you swipe it on the dashboard/touchscreen.

Kia Habaniro Concept
via Kia

There’s also no rearview mirrors. Instead, the HabaNiro comes with eye-tracking software that senses when the driver would be looking at the location where a rearview mirror would normally be. Then, the HUD shows a 180-degree rearview camera display in that location.

If that wasn’t enough, the HabaNiro can drive itself with full level 5 autonomy. That’s the kind that doesn’t need a human to do anything.

As usual, this is just a concept and Kia has no plans to make such a thing, but they really should.


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