The new versions of the Sportage an Optima are done and on the road (in South Korea), which means that Kia will now be turning their attention to a compact crossover codenamed DE.
The spy video shown below reveals that this is indeed their plan.
The winding roads of the Alps are a great test for new cars, and word is that the DE hybrid car was undergoing cooling and braking tests.
It may seem to be counterintuitive to have cooling tests done when snow is all around, but consider that the downhill roads require braking, and the uphill require revving, and you can see why it’s the perfect place for testing potential overheating issues.
The video shows that even more strain is being put on the DE hybrid, as it is clearly pulling a Kia Picanto city car behind it.
Spy video of Kia DE hybrid crossover
Kia DE to be available as a plug-in hybrid
The rumor is that the Niro will make its debut as a hybrid, but that a plug-in version will follow along down the line.
Don’t expect anything too flashy as far as the design of the DE model goes, as it fits perfectly into the mold that Kia have created for this segment.
You get the now iconic tiger nose grille, as well as a headlight setup that is a lot like what you see on the newest version of the Sportage CUV.
The upcoming Kia hybrid crossover will slot between the Soul and the Sportage in terms of size, which means it will be going head to head with the likes of the Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008, and the Mazda CX-3.
Kia has yet to say whether an AWD option will be made available on the Niro, but that is certainly something that could be achieved by adding an electric motor.
There is no word yet on an official launch date, but it should be out sometime next year as a 2017 Kia model. We will supply all the details as we get them.