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In June this year, Kia revealed the Europe-only XCeed, which slots in between the Stonic entry-level crossover and the Sportage in the brand’s SUV lineup. This model will be at Kia’s European dealerships starting September this year when you’ll be able to order it with traditional gasoline and diesel turbocharged engines. A new addition to the lineup will come next year in the form of a plug-in hybrid variant and these are the first spy photos of it.

This prototype might fool you into believing it is a traditional ICE-powered machine but the charging port on the front left fender tells us it is indeed a plug-in model. Our spies tell us the car is visually identical to the regular XCeed and the only expected design changes are probably going to be situated at the front, where we will see a modified radiator grille. A few badges here and there will distinguish the PHEV car from the rest of the lineup.

Gallery: Kia XCeed PHEV spy photos

As far as the powertrain is concerned, the lifted hatchback is most likely going to use the drivetrain system of the Niro PHEV. Last year, Kia admitted the plug-in version of the new Ceed will use the same powertrain as the Niro, which, while officially unconfirmed yet, basically means the XCeed should also feature the same propulsion. If this assumption is correct, look for a 1.6-liter gasoline engine mated to an electric motor and a “highly responsive” six-speed dual-clutch automatic. The total system output is 139 horsepower (104 kilowatts) and the car can travel up to 30 miles (48 kilometers) on a single charge.

Given the regular XCeed’s market launch scheduled for next month, we expect to see the PHEV model sometime next year, most likely at the Geneva Motor Show in March. Production of the electrified crossover will take place at Kia’s plant in Slovakia.

Photos: CarPix

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