Kia Unveils All-Electric, Self-Driving Concept Car With Punny Name
The Kia HabaNiro is a peppery concept car that was just revealed at the New York International Auto Show.
This design study is fully electric, offering an advertised range of 300 miles (483 km). The battery technology delivering this figure is not mentioned, though it is described as being “advanced” and “state of the art.” Additionally, this Kia seats four people, sports all-wheel and even offers cutting-edge level-five autonomous driving capability.
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HabaNiro also rolls on 20-inch wheels and features short overhangs both front and rear. Further dressing things up are satin aluminum skid plates, billet tow hooks and bright-red-anodized accent pieces. Additionally, the daytime-running lights pulse like a heartbeat, suggesting the vehicle is alive.
Despite its high-style design, complete with butterfly-wing doors, this vehicle is not meant to be some pie-in-the-sky concept, rather “a prescient look into the future of mobility,” at least according to the press release sent out by the South Korean automaker.
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Inside, there’s just as much cutting-edge technology as on the outside. The cabin is finished in a searing lava red color, while the entire windshield is transformed into a head-up display. This is controlled by a touchpad mounted on the vehicle’s concave instrument panel. The Technical Option Sharing System, TOSS for short, lets users easily rearrange things on that gigantic display.
Passenger comfort is handled by the HabaNiro’s Perimeter Ventilation System. It evenly distributes air throughout the cabin. The geometrically patterned floor glows with soft ambient lighting.
As for self-driving functionality, this concept’s steering wheel and instrument panel retract when it’s operating autonomously. This provides greater space for passengers and more comfort.
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Kia is coy about whether the HabaNiro will ever be built. Certainly, some of the technologies this design study features are a bit too out there, but other underlying features, like the electric drivetrain, are more likely than not close to production-ready.
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Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for AutoGuide.com. When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).
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