In order to compete in today’s market, automakers have to be at the forefront of innovation. That’s exactly what Kia does, and it’s why the vehicle they premiered just this week is so exciting. Meet the 2017 Kia Niro, which is not just the first hybrid crossover from Kia, but their first dedicated hybrid model — that is, the first Kia hybrid that isn’t also available with a gas engine. Best of all, this vehicle was designed with looks in mind. Kia didn’t want it to call to mind blocky hybrids with high backs and odd proportions, but to slide in stylishly with the rest of the vehicles both in its lineup and on the road.
“Aerodynamics is of course important, but we wanted to offer a choice for which there’s utility involved, for which there’s a different look, a different stance, bigger tires…and with a DCT and a strong motor that has a great off-the-line experience, with a more premium power steering system that feels and tracks right, and with a suspension tune that gives up a little bit of tow in and tow out [for lowest rolling resistance] but gives you more road feel,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning for Kia Motors America.
The Niro will be powered by a 1.6-liter direct-injection Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine partnered with a 43-horsepower electric motor and will feature a six-speed dual clutch transmission. That’s good for 146 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. It’s expected to get 50 mpg and boasts an incredible drag coefficient of just .029. While the first release will be a traditional hybrid, a plug-in model is expected to follow.
It’s no secret that the vehicle of the future is going to drive itself. In fact, the vehicles here at our Nissan dealership in Milwaukee, WI, already come with incredible technology that enables them to park for you! But what if the innovative tech used the pilot Nissan vehicles snugly into parking spaces was applied to other areas of life? Nissan asked that exact question, and the answer they came up with is surprisingly clever: self-parking chairs.
Everyone who’s working in an office has known the battle through a conference room strewn haphazardly with seating apparati seemingly placed precisely so it would be as difficult as possible for everyone to get into the room and sit down. But with Nissan’s new self-piloting chair tech, there’s no reason to fear. With just a clap of the hands, these intelligent people-holders maneuver their way back to pre-set positions. Whether you’re just walking into a room or just leaving one, it’s quick and easy to get everything tidy.
“By day, these chairs are inanimate objects,” Nissan says, positioning the chairs as a Batman-like symbol of greater justice, “By night, they park!”
Check out the video below to see them in action, and head to this Nissan press release for making-of footage. We can’t sell you self-parking chairs, but we do have self-parking cars, so pay us a visit today to get the next-best thing!
Kia is ringing in the new year with some appealing awards — three Good Design awards to be precise. The all-new 2016 Kia Sorento CUV, 2016 Optima and Soul-based Trail’ster concept car took home the trophies, and it marks the second straight year in which the automaker received separate awards for three distinct models. The designs of new Kia models are getting more unique and innovative by the second, and the Good Design awards are concrete evidence!
The criterion for the Good Design awards are strict and showcase just how impressive the Kia model lineup truly is. The categories to be evaluated include: innovative design, new technologies, concept, form, function, utility, materials, construction, energy efficiency and sensitivity to the environment. It is then voted upon by a team of independent design professionals, industry specialists and design media. This goes to show that Kia doesn’t just dominate in one facet of vehicular design — it conquers just about all of them.
“Having a total of six of our latest production models and concept cars receive distinction from Good Design in the last two years is a true testament to the tremendous strides our design teams have made in creating some of the most desirable designs on today’s roads,” said Yong-Won (Bryan) Cho, vice president of overseas marketing at Kia Motors Corporation.
Get a look at these stunning models up close and even take your favorite out for a test-drive at our Kia dealership near West Allis, WI. We have plenty of Sorento and Optima models to go around, so get your new model today and drive off our lot in award-winning style!