Regular version powered by a conventional combustion engine is also in the works.
It was only yesterday when Kia announced plans to roll out a full electric version of the Niro in 2018, and now the company has revealed its intentions towards doing another green model. Different than the Niro, the new eco-friendly car will be bigger and will be engineered to accommodate multiple types of powertrains. The reveal was made by the automaker’s head of marketing in Europe, Artur Martins, in an interview with Autocar ahead of the 2017 Geneva Motor Show next month.
He said the yet unnamed model will be able to host not only a hydrogen setup, but also a hybrid powertrain and an all-electric configuration. In addition, the vehicle is being developed to house a regular combustion engine, so in the end it’s going to be a four-in-one car in terms of propulsion.
Scheduled to come out towards the end of 2021, the new model will be differentiated from the other Kias by getting a distinctive exterior design to emphasize its special status in the lineup. According to Dr Sae-Hoon Kim, the man in charge with Kia’s fuel cell research, a body style has not been selected yet, but he did reveal it’s going to be a dedicated model rather than being based on an existing product. If it will turn out to be a commercial success, it could lead the way to the introduction of other fuel cell models.
The announcement doesn’t actually come as a big surprise considering sister brand Hyundai has set its sights on introducing its next-gen fuel cell system on a production car next year, specifically at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
A range of as much as 500 miles (804 kilometers) is expected from future Kias and Hyundais fuel cell models. The hydrogen fuel stack is set to be roughly similar in size to a regular combustion engine that has a 2.0-liter displacement, but lighter and capable of providing better performance.
Despite acting as Kia’s halo model, the lovely Stinger grand tourer will not receive the hydrogen treatment. That being said, an electrified derivative is being considered to be offered alongside the regular gasoline- and diesel-powered versions.
Source: Kia via Autocar