Mama Mia! AWD & 300 Mile Range: KIA HabaNiro Electric SUV Is One Hot Chili
April 17th, 2019 Steve Hanley
KIA HabaNiro electric SUV
KIA unveiled the HabaNiro, an all wheel drive electric SUV with more than
300 miles of range, at the New York auto show on April 17. What is it? It’s
an everything vehicle for everyone, according to KIA [
“We wanted this concept to be comfortable navigating city streets, carving
turns on a coastal road, and off-roading with confidence to remote
wilderness adventures,” says Tom Kearns, vice president of design for KIA
Design Center America. “We imagined a car for everyone and nearly
everything. Then, when we saw the finished product,we were blown away by the
imagination of the HabaNiro’s creators and its laboratory of technology and
we want it in our driveways — today.”
The company says its HabaNiro electric compact crossover utility vehicle is
an all-electric Everything Car — a commuter, crossover, sport utility,
state-of-the-art technology workroom and adventure vehicle. It reportedly
will have a range of 300 miles and will come with dual motors for true off
road capability. The concept is shod with aggressive all terrain tires that
could definitely be at home on the Rubicon Trail.
“Satin aluminum skid plates, milled billet aluminum tow hooks, anodized Lava
Red aluminum accents, and the embossed HabaNiro name complement the upscale
look while suggesting the vehicle’s adventure-ready attitude,” KIA says.
“Perhaps most importantly, the heartbeat pulse of the daytime running lights
announce the HabaNiro’s animated energy — ‘I’m alive’.”
Apart from the bold and colorful exterior accents — the bright red slash
across the rear flanks and over the top is meant to evoke a habanero chili
pepper — the concept features four butterfly doors. Will they make it into
production? That’s doubtful. Designers love to include them in their
concept vehicles, but they are hardly practical. Nevertheless, the interior
of the HabaNiro is anything but mundane.
A full-width heads-up display sweeps across the dashboard, replacing the now
commonplace touchscreen. The driver and passenger can operated the many HUD
functions with hand gestures. Where the rear view mirror used to be, another
screen provides a 180º view behind the car. The screen is activated
instantaneously whenever the driver looks toward that area of the
windshield. A full perimeter climate control system keeps each passenger
properly heated and cooled at all times.
When full Level 5 autonomous mode is selected, the steering wheel folds away
and the HUD becomes a full width video screen displaying a variety of
entertainment options. KIA’s Real Time Emotion Adaptive Driving (R.E.A.D.)
System, which debuted at CES 2019 “can optimize and personalize a vehicle
cabin space by analyzing a driver’s emotional state in real time through
artificial intelligence based bio-signal recognition technology.”
“The technology monitors the driver’s emotional state and tailors the
interior environment according to its assessment — potentially altering
conditions relating to the human senses within the cabin and in turn
creating a more pleasurable and safer driving experience. AI and automation
shouldn’t take the joy out of driving, as some auto lovers fear, but should
enhance it — anticipating needs so we can concentrate on the driving
experience,” KIA says.
Pricing, production dates? All of that remains for the future to reveal.
Concept cars are all about gauging customer interest as a manufacturer works
to develop a business case for prospective new models, but the company
points out that the KIA Stinger and Telluride were once concepts that
progressed to the production phase and are available in showrooms today.
KIA Factory In Europe?
KIA and corporate cousin Hyundai have been criticized for offering
attractive electric vehicles but underestimating the demand, resulting in
long delays for people who want to buy one. That critique is certainly
valid. In the US, the companies’ most advanced electric cars are in short
supply and available only in states that follow the California emissions
rules. Things might be changing, though.
The problem is even more acute in Europe, where customers are pounding on
the doors of KIA and Hyundai dealers demanding to buy one of their electric
cars but being told they may have to wait a year or more to get one.
According to Electrive [
], KIA is considering building a factory in Europe to help meet the demand.
Emilio Herrera, COO of KIA Europe, said recently, “Today our problem is not
whether we can sell these cars, but how many will I get (from Korea). We
know our suppliers LG Chemical and SK Innovation are looking to possible
battery production in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.”
Manufacturing electric cars in Europe would minimize the risk of supply
constraints, particularly if the company’s main battery suppliers are
Even if KIA decides to go ahead with European production, it will be years
before a new factory comes online. Until then, all those lovely electric KIA
Niros and Kia Souls — and maybe HabaNiros — will continue to have more
demand than the company can meet.
... habanero chili peppers are 260,000 SHU, whereas the Scotch bonnet
pepper is about 445,000 SHU ...
Import of Electric Vehicles to Costa Rica Increased 775% from 2017 to 2018
April 10, 2019 The Country Already Has 66 Semi-Fast Charging Points for
Electric Vehicles An internal combustion vehicle has 2,000 moving parts,
and an electric one has only 20 pieces. So it is a much simpler, more
reliable, and more economical ...
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