In April 2017, Kia Motors announced its entry into the Indian automobile market by signing a MoU with the Andhra Pradesh Government to build a new manufacturing facility in Anantapur district. Having showcased some of their products to prospective dealers in India, the car maker’s manufacturing facility is expected to begin production in the second half of 2019. According to reports, the first product to roll out of the factory floor could very well be an all-new sub-4m compact SUV.
However, along with the previously previewed Sportage SUV, the Kia Niro has been spotted in India for the first time. What’s interesting about it? The Niro is a hybrid Crossover which is offered elsewhere with an electric setup paired with the gas powered motor.
Powered by a 1.6-litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine and a 1.56 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery, the petrol engine produces 104 BHP and 147 Nm of torque, whereas, the electric motor adds an additional 43 BHP to the total output. The battery’s juice is also refilled via a regenerative braking system, while the gearbox is a 6-speed dual-clutch type.
Considering the new found excitement towards environment-friendly cars in India and frequent policy changes, the Hybrid Niro could well be one of the products Kia might want to include in its portfolio, in order to strike when the time’s right. Spotted along with the Kia Niro was the Sportage SUV, which fits in the entry-level premium scheme of things.
Available elsewhere, it is offered with a 2.0-litre petrol/diesel which crank out 153 bhp and 182 bhp respectively. A 181 bhp 2.4-litre petrol can also be ticked. Kia Motors would be investing $2 billion (approximately INR 12,750 crore) in India over the next two years. The investment will be used to set up the manufacturing plant and develop a supplier base.
Spy Images: Bunnypunia.com