Niro’s Frankfurt de­but

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By JOSHUA DOWL­ING

KIA has un­veiled the Niro cross­over con­cept at the Frankfurt Mo­tor Show.

The baby soft-roader mar­ket looks set to have a new ar­rival, with South Korean car maker Kia sig­nalling its in­ten­tion to join the boom­ing faux-wheel-drive mar­ket that’s be­com­ing big in the city.

The Kia Niro is the com­pany’s star at­trac­tion at the mo­tor show.

Pre­sum­ably the com­pany went to town on the show car be­cause it will save money on ship­ping.

The car was de­signed and built in­side Kia’s Euro­pean de­sign stu­dio, which is ad­ja­cent to the fair­grounds that will host the show in the heart of Frankfurt.

As with most flights of fancy the Lam­borgh­in­istyle ‘‘scis­sor’’ doors won’t make it to pro­duc­tion.

Nor will the mas­sive wheels and LED head­lights. But squint a lit­tle and im­age a car of this size, shape and height and you’ve got a pretty good idea about the look of Kia’s tiny-tot SUV that will even­tu­ally ri­val the Ford EcoS­port, Holden Trax and Suzuki SX4.

We’re as­sured the Kia Niro con­cept has an en­gine of some de­scrip­tion but Kia is keep­ing the de­tails se­cret.

But even if it has an en­gine as sim­ple as a twocylin­der or as dar­ing as a jet you can bank on the pro­duc­tion car hav­ing a ba­sic four-cylin­der petrol en­gine.

The Kia Niro is among the grow­ing num­ber of su­per­s­mall SUVs due in show­rooms in the next few years.

Their pint-sized di­men­sions make them easy to park while the tall driv­ing po­si­tion gives you a bet­ter view of the traf­fic jam.

The Frankfurt Mo­tor Show is held ev­ery two years. In 2011 it at­tracted al­most one mil­lion visi­tors.

The world’s car­mak­ers are show­ing off their most ad­vanced ve­hi­cles and among the 70 world pre­mieres are cars pow­ered ei­ther by bat­ter­ies or hy­brid gas-elec­tric sys­tems.

There are also out­landish con­cept cars that take de­sign and tech­nol­ogy to the edge but will never make it to the show­room floor.

The show is spread over about 230,000sq m at the sprawl­ing Frankfurt Messe ex­hi­bi­tion cen­tre.

Kia has also in­tro­duced an all-new ver­sion of the Soul at the show.

The Soul will have up­graded sus­pen­sion, a stiffer bodyshell and com­pre­hen­sive sound­proof­ing.

The Kia Niro con­cept ve­hi­cle un­veiled at the Frankfurt Mo­tor Show

Kia’s new Soul will also be on show

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