Engineers are at an advanced stage in developing the 2022 Kia e-Niro, which could hit European and UK showrooms by the second half of next year. In its home market of South Korea, plenty of prototypes appeared on the roads, giving away many details.
2022 Kia e-Niro Exterior
The second-gen Kia e-Niro, codenamed ‘Kia SG2’ or ‘기아 SG2’ in Korean, is due internationally in 2022. Spy shots show the next-gen electric SUV featuring a brand-new front end with split headlamps and a more aggressive grille pattern for a striking appearance. The front-end design suggests that the 2022 Kia Niro EV will have cues borrowed from the Kia HabaNiro all-electric SUV concept presented in 2019. The second-gen e-Niro would also sport the redesigned Kia logo, unveiled at the beginning of 2021.
Instagram user mr_bimmer_kim has shared some spy pictures of the test mule of the 2022 Kia e-Niro from South Korea, which shows it featuring dual-tone 17-inch alloy wheels. Wrapped with 215/55 R17 94V tires from Kumho, the wheels bears a striking resemblance to those of the new Opel Grandland SUV.
A prototype YouTube channel GOODMANTV (which posted the following video of the 2022 Kia Niro EV testing) taped revealed some interesting details about the electric SUV. Firstly, the variant spotted appears to be a GT line courtesy of its low-profile tires and diamond-cut alloys. The test mule also sports new sharp-looking outside rearview mirrors with C-shaped turn indicators.
Instagram user laffey_chino has also spotted the Kia Niro new model on test in South Korea, more or less confirming that the Habaniro concept’s experimental design features are going into the production vehicle. Through gaps in the prototype camouflage, you can notice the headlamp in a split design similar to the concept.
The window lines and C-Pillar make inferences to the concept, and Kia designers have pushed several more elements like the boomerang-type taillights and the roofline drop into production. The Niro promises to be a stylish and spacious electrified Kia when it comes out early next year in its home market of South Korea.
Back in December 2020, blog.naver.com user soonjung8116 spotted the 2022 Kia Niro in South Korea, offering a glimpse of its headlamp assembly. Going by the pictures, the new Niro is likely to get a vertically stacked headlamp, with heart-beat themed daytime running lights below them, just like how they are in the Kia HabaNiro concept. The new Kia e-Niro should feature the same new headlamp layout.
2022 Kia e-Niro Interior
From the spy video above, we can see that the Niro’s interior will sport a cleaner, more refined design. Expect a slimmer dashboard design that allows for a better sense of space and adds a metallic trim for a more premium look.
Autocar had shared spy shots of the car which, despite the tapes and cloth used to hide the larger design, revealed that the interiors will be minimalist. Two merged screens will make up the instrument cluster and the infotainment unit. The 12.3-inch instrument cluster should be customisable, while the infotainment screen should get haptic buttons on either side. Instead of physical buttons, there are touch-sensitive buttons flanked by knobs, presumably for climate control.
Spy shots from Top Rider later gave a closer look at the all-new Niro’s clubbed displays, as well as a new two-spoke steering wheel and a dial-type electronic gear selector on the floor console.
The infotainment system should get the latest version of Kia’s UVO Connect system, with features like over the air (OTA) software updates, on-demand Find My Car with surround-view monitor which can share pictures of surroundings of the vehicle using cameras, last-mile navigation for providing walking directions to the car, and cloud-based route calculation system.
Kia has already updated the UVO Connect app with new icons, a new customizable home menu and a revised menu for settings. It could get even more updates in enhanced graphics and menus, which might be available in the e-Niro as well.
The 2022 Kia e-Niro won’t ride on Hyundai Motor Group’s next-gen Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). Kia is likely to modify the existing platform with reinforcements in high tensile strength steel to knock off some weight and maintain the rigidity. However, in the powertrain department, a shift to a 400-volt battery system for faster charging is expected, and a WLTP range of at least 300 miles (WLTP) should help keep the e-Niro competitive in its segment.
For reference, the current e-Niro packs a 64 kWh battery with a 150 kW electric motor delivering a range of up to 282 miles (WLTP combined).
The e-Niro is also available in some markets in a short-range form, packing in a 39.2 kWh battery pack with a total range of 179 miles. According to a report in Autocar UK Magazine, Paul Philpott, President and CEO, Kia UK and Ireland, suggested that the second-gen e-Niro may not have this variant, not in the UK at least and will position the Soul EV in its stead. This could be because 95 per cent of orders for the e-Niro are for the long-range variant in the UK.
Kia e-Niro sales in UK and Europe
Kia sold a total of 6,497 fully electric vehicles in the UK in the first half of 2021, with the Kia e-Niro being one of the instrumental models. If we consider the entire European market, the Niro is the company’s second best-selling model, with a total of 77,498 units sold across the continent in 2020. Out of these, 31,032 units were of the e-Niro. Also, in the first quarter of 2021, the Kia e-Niro posted a YoY growth of 124 per cent in Europe.
2022 Kia e-Niro FAQs
What is the launch date of the 2022 Kia e-Niro?
The 2022 e-Niro should be unveiled in South Korea by early next year, ahead of the UK and Europe launch by H2 2022.
What are the rivals for the 2022 Kia Niro EV?
What will be the price of the 2022 Kia e-Niro?
The 2022 e-Niro should be priced between GBP 33,000-40,000.
[Featured Image Source: clien.net]