In recent years, the New York auto show has become more and more focused on everyday production models. That means fanciful concept cars are now a rare commodity at the show.
A few brands didn’t get the memo. One of which was Kia.
The Korean automaker debuted the striking HabaNiro concept at the 2019 New York International Auto Show.
The all-electric crossover SUV is easily the coolest concept car at the show.
“The HabaNiro is a genius work of skill and imagination,” Kia Motors America COO Michael Cole said in a statement. “Not only does its beautiful design incorporate the needs of future mobility, but its engineering and technology anticipate the way people will want to move in the near future.”
The highlight of the Kia concept is its upward-swinging butterfly doors which open to reveal a futuristic lava red interior.
The interior of the HabaNiro features a large full-width windshield heads-up display, bouclé fabric-trimmed front seats, and ventilation system that blows a “curtain of air throughout the cabin.”
The concept is also equipped with Kia’s R.E.A.D. system that uses artificial intelligence-based bio-signal recognition tech to customize the interior space by sensing the driver’s emotional state.
The system also uses eye-tracking technology to trigger the car’s rearview camera when it senses the driver looking for the rearview mirror.
The HabaNiro is powered by a pair of electric motors and is expected to have a range of more than 300 miles as well as part-time level-five autonomous driving capabilities.
Unlike the near-production-ready concepts that dot the auto show floor, the HabaNiro will never reach dealership lots. However, elements from the concept’s design or technology suite will serve as guidance for future production Kias.
“It’s a concept. When we do a concept, it’s usually a hint towards something in terms of styling cues, technology, design language, or engineering position that we believe can come to market and are not far fetched or in the long distance future,” Cole told us. “Just what will come out of the (HabaNiro) I can’t tell you yet, but it is there to give a tease or hint to the different directions we can take in design or engineering.”
The 2019 New York International Auto Show will be open to the public until April 28 at the Javits Center in New York City.