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by Tim Beissmann

The Kia Niro concept could give life to a city-sized production SUV if it receives a positive reaction from the public at next month’s Frankfurt motor show.

Kia says its dramatically styled Niro concept hints at a possible future B-segment contender, designed to rival the likes of the Nissan Juke and other sub-compact SUVs.

Designed at the Korean car maker’s Frankfurt design studio under the direction of its chief designer in Europe, Gregory Guillaume, Kia says the Niro concept “combines a mischievous character in a clearly robust and substantial yet stylish body shape”.

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Kia’s signature ‘tiger nose’ grille sits prominently at the concept’s front end, flanked by swept-back triangular headlights and positioned above purposeful spotlights.

The muscular front wheel arches and rear haunches give the three-door a jacked-up coupe appearance, while a large diffuser, powerful rear bumper and high-mounted tail-lights establish a look of strength at the rear.

Front-hinged gullwing doors open to reveal a high-tech but minimalist cabin with its seat blended into the centre console and dominant digital displays in the instrument cluster and atop the dash.

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Kia says the Niro concept will preview an “innovative new powertrain”, which will almost certainly feature some form of electrification.

The Kia Niro concept will debut in Frankfurt on September 10.

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