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PHOTO CAPTION: Kia Niro concept illustration.

Korean Carmakers Reveal Pair of Hybrid Concept SUVs

Kia and SsangYong release illustrations of competing hybrid sport utility vehicles.

Published: 08-Feb-2014

Besides announcing the upcoming sale of its Soul EV in North America, Kia also took the opportunity of the Chicago Auto Show to show off its Niro hybrid electric concept car to potential Midwestern buyers.

First debuted at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show, the Niro (pictured above) is a more stylized version of the boxier Soul. A small car aimed at competitors from Honda and Nissan, it rides on 20 inch wheels and is powered by a 1.6 liter turbo-charged engine driving the front axle. A 45 hp electric motor powers the rear wheels in a 'through-the-road' hybrid system, effectively giving it AWD.

The smaller Korean carmaker, SsangYong, also released information about its own hybrid concept, dubbed the XLV, which purported stands for 'eXciting smart Lifestyle Vehicle' (pictured below). Like the Kia Niro, it too uses a 1.6 liter engine, but this one is diesel. Beyond the company describing it as a diesel-electric hybrid, SsangYong hasn't said how it's system operates. Presumably, they'll say more about it in Geneva later this Winter.

SsangYong XVL hybrid concept SUV

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