British media has managed to find out Kia is working on a hybrid crossover programmed to come out around mid-2016.

British media has managed to find out Kia is working on a hybrid crossover programmed to come out around mid-2016.

The new model will be aimed at the Toyota Prius crowd and will be like a smaller Sportage with styling influences from the 2012 Niro concept. The vehicle is believed to be 4350mm long which would make it longer than the Soul (4105mm) and shorter than the Sportage (4445 mm), with Kia's head of overseas marketing Spencer Cho saying they have managed to hit the sweet spot in terms of dimensions.

On the inside it will draw its inspiration from the forthcoming 2016 Optima by boasting a generous centrally positioned touchscreen display recessed into the dashboard with buttons and knobs arranged in long horizontal lines. It will also have white & blue plastic inserts in the dashboard to denote it's an eco-friendly model while most of the plastics will get a matte black look.

Spencer Cho also specified the crossover will ride on an entirely new platform and will be powered by a four-cylinder 1.6-liter gasoline engine working with an electric motor which will grant a combined fuel economy of more than 50 mpg US (60 mpg UK or 4.7 liters / 100 km).

Codenamed internally "DE", the new model will be available at first as a conventional hybrid while a plug-in hybrid variant with a bigger battery pack will be launched later, probably in 2017. The newly developed platform will also form the basis for a number of other models set to arrive in the years to come.

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