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Kia's 2017 Niro hybrid CUV

targets sub-90 g/km CO2


emissions

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A novel hybrid-electric powertrain debuting on the 2017 Kia Niro subcompact


CUV targets sub-90 g/km CO2 emissions and combined highway/city 50 mpg
fuel economy.
Niros combination of gasoline direct injection, Atkinson cycle, and cooled
exhaust gas recirculation engine technologies along with a dual clutch
transmission all electrified is an industry first, said Steve Kosowski, Kia
Motors Americas Manager of Long Range Strategy.
Kosowski and other Kia product development officials spoke with Automotive
Engineering following the all-new Niros world debut at the 2016 Chicago Auto
Show. They explained that Niro was designed from a clean sheet as a hybrid
vehicle, with a plug-in version coming at a later date. Niro shares its Hyundai
engineered 1.6-L Kappa-family 4-cylinder engine and its six-speed DCT with
the Hyundai Ioniq. It also shares that new sedan's 103-in (2616-mm)
wheelbase and track widths.
According to Kosowski, Niro's IC engine delivers 103 hp (77 kW) at 5200 rpm,
and achieves 40% brake-thermal efficiency. The DCT is unique among fourdoor hybrids, including the 2016 Toyota Prius and Ford C-Max, which use
continuously variable transmissions. Fitted in the P2 position between Niro's
engine and transmission is a 43-hp (32-kW) permanent magnet AC
synchronous motor. It's powered by a 240-V lithium-ion polymer battery with a
rated power density of 42 kW and an energy capacity of 1.56 kWh. The
combination motor-engine produces an estimated 146 hp (108 kW) and 195
lb-ft of torque (264 Nm).
In another interesting technology move, the lithium battery pack also provides
power for the headlights, windshield wipers, and other traditional 12-V battery
tasks, according to Orth Hedrick, Kia Motors Americas Vice President of
Product Planning. The power control module and the energy control module
essentially act as a transformer to step down the battery power thats needed
to drive the 12-volt circuits on the vehicle, explained Hedrick.
Elimination of the conventional 12-V lead-acid battery saved weight as did
other mass management initiatives. Advanced high strength steel accounts for
53% of Niros body structure, including roof rails, and A- and B-pillar
reinforcements. The lightweight steel is also used for the seat frames. The

hood, tailgate, front bumper, and many suspension parts are aluminum, while
the foot park brake pedal is made of fiberglass reinforced plastic.
Niros Eco-DAS (Driver Assistance System) spotlights Kias first application of
Predictive Energy Control. According to Hedrick, the vehicles threedimensional navigational system and the cruise control system are used in
tandem to anticipate and react to topographical roadway changes.
The system knows the elevation changes on your chosen destination, so it can
anticipate when to use the battery and when to use the traction motor as much
as possible to get a higher mileage benefit, said Hedrick, noting a potential
3% fuel economy boost.
Kosowski said Eco-DAS can apply energy management logic during uphill
drivesa unique Kia feature, he claimed. "There are systems on some German
luxury vehicles that can manage the powertrain response in downhill driving,
but not in uphill driving. Kias system can apply the traction motors
regenerative braking captured kinetic energy while going uphill to save fuel,
Kosowski noted.
Concept Niro debuted at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show as a two-door, Bsegment CUV. The four-door production Niro is a C-segment vehicle styled by
Kias design centers in California and South Korea. Lead product development
work was done in South Korea with contributions from U.S. engineering teams.
All-wheel drive Niros 25.5 ft3 (722 L) of cargo space is larger than that of the
Ford C-Max Hybrid and the Toyota Prius, according to Hedrick, thanks to
efficient packaging of the battery beneath the rear seat.
Estimated combined city/highway U.S. fuel economy is 50 mpg. Actual fuel
economy and pricing will be announced closer to the production launch. The
2017 Kia Niro hybrid utility vehicle arrives in dealerships outside the U.S.
sometime in 2016 with the U.S. arrival anticipated in early 2017.