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by Matt Campbell

A disguised Kia Niro compact SUV prototype has been spotted undergoing testing at the Grossglockner mountain pass in Austria ahead of its predicted debut at the 2016 Geneva motor show.

The sub-Sportage SUV model was spotted testing its cooling and brakes on the high mountain road, hence why in some of these images the Niro prototype is towing a Kia Picanto hatchback.

Because extra air flow was needed to showcase real-life driving conditions, the engineers have removed some of the camouflage on the Kia baby SUV prototype compared to last time we saw it.

Kia Niro 7

As such, we can see the breadth of the grille, which will clearly mimic the Sportage, and it is clear this model will bring with it a slightly tamer appearance than the Niro concept model shown at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show, while the headlights appear to be smaller, sharper versions of what we’ve seen on the larger production model, too.

The rear-end gives away a little more than previously, too, and much like the Sportage it seems clear the Niro – if that’s the name it takes to production – will have horizontal assemblies.

While this vehicle hardly looks as though it is an SUV given it’s low ride height, it is expected that are some muscular angles hide under the camouflage that will surely give it some street presence.

Kia Niro 5

There are rumours that the Niro model will be offered on the same basis as Hyundai-Kia’s new hybrid platform. As such, it would be offered with hybrid and plug-in hybrid drivetrains only. A version for China has also been developed, and it is known as the KX3.

Stay tuned for more.

Click the Photos tab above for more images of the Kia Niro prototype.




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