With the Frankfurt Motor Show only a few days away the concept cars are starting to come in thick and fast. And in the case of this new Kia Niro, darn funky too. The chunky dune buggy little chap will go on show on Kia’s show stand at Frankfurt, and while it’s not planned for production right now, if the show punters love it there’s no reason why those crazy Koreans at Kia couldn’t build it. Small MPV-style cars are much of their ‘thing’ after all.
And why not; this is one Kia that I’d be very happy to drive, and if handles the rough stuff like it looks like it could, I can imagine the rooster tails flying high in the air as I hoon across a deserted sandy beach. But that’s enough of my driving fantasies!
Details on the new Niro are a little scant right now, but they say that it’s based on a B-segment platform – like a Ford Fiesta-size chassis – so we can imagine that its footprint on the road won’t be that big, and if you need it to nip around town in – what, and not tear up a beach! – then its compact size and high up driving position could well be perfect. All your friends will think you’re driving a giant Tonka toy, too!
From here, the new Kia Niro looks like one giant curve, with almost zero overhangs, wide arches, tall suspension and chunky black wheels. And just look at those doors! Sure, concept cars usually have plenty of trick bits that are too expensive to make it onto the full production car, but if these up-opening doors were a £1,000 option, I’d take ’em.
The interior too is about as funky as an all-night jazz club in full swing; packed with neon glow and digital everything. The one-piece front seats are simply genius, and with some clever production techniques – something these Korean firms are very good at – there’s surely no reason why these couldn’t make the final production car spec.
So many motor show concept cars get crushed when the show glitz and glamour is over, but this, we think, is one that will stick around. The Niro has been built to gauge public reaction to a model like it, and I’d be as happy as Gareth Bale’s bank manager if they do decide to build it, and I doubt I’ll be alone on that.
By Dan Anslow