Spied: Kia’s mystery hybrid crossover
Kia engineers have been spotted testing a mysterious new crossover in the Southwestern United States.
Although fairly unremarkable on the outside, a peek inside this prototype’s interior reveals Kia is working on some kind of hybridized crossover. The dashboard on this test car is clearly illuminated with a battery gauge as well as an EV indicator light. A traditional fuel gauge points to a hybrid drivetrain rather than a pure electric setup (not to mention it was spied at a gas station).
Confirming what the dash shows, this Kia prototype was seen testing amongst a number of other hybrid vehicles, including a Kia Optima Hybrid, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Ford C-Max Hybrid and Honda Accord PHEV.
Where this hybrid CUV will slot in Kia’s lineup remains a mystery. Sister company Hyundai is currently developing a dedicated hybrid that will rival the Toyota Prius, so it’s possible that Kia’s version of the car could take the form of a high-riding crossover. That strategy would prevent the two models from cannibalizing each other sales while still spreading out development costs.
It’s also feasible that this prototype is simply a hybrid variant of an upcoming Kia crossover, whether it be an updated version of a current model or an all-new line altogether.
Whatever it is, look for the production version of this Kia hybrid to hit the market later next year as a 2017 model.