Scissor doors on Kia’s HabaNiro concept provide easy entry for passengers, as long as you don’t park too close to other cars. Picture: SUPPLIED
Scissor doors on Kia’s HabaNiro concept provide easy entry for passengers, as long as you don’t park too close to other cars. Picture: SUPPLIED

Kia Motors America has unveiled a spicy vision of the future of electric vehicles at the New York International auto show.

The HabaNiro concept is an electric, all-wheel drive, four-seater crossover utility vehicle with a claimed range of more than 450km. The 20-inch wheels and big haunches “exude coiled muscularity and capability” according to Kia, but the car’s biggest visual drawcard is its butterfly doors.

These swing open in a scissor-like action to reveal an exceptionally large gap for passengers to enter and exit the vehicle, minimising the potential for very tall (or clumsy) occupants bumping their heads or knees when getting in and out.

Imagined and created at Kia’s California design studio, the HabaNiro is referred to as “the everything electric vehicle” or ECEV.

“This is no fanciful supercar that will likely never be built, but a prescient look into the future of mobility where automobiles will seamlessly integrate design, capability, usefulness and creativity,” says Tom Kearns, vice-president of design for Kia Design Centre America (KDCA).

 “We wanted this concept to be comfortable navigating city streets, carving turns on a coastal road and off-roading with confidence to remote wilderness adventures.”

The fancy doors open to reveal a garish lava red interior with an array of hi-tech features. Traditional control knobs and rectangular touch screens are replaced by a full-width head-up display (HUD) on the windshield, controlled by an instrument panel that is a large interactive touchpad display.

Users can swipe and move vehicle options across the HUD screen as though moving chess pieces.

Traditional control knobs are replaced by a full-width head-up display (HUD) on the windshield, controlled by an instrument panel that is a large interactive touchpad display. Picture: SUPPLIED
Traditional control knobs are replaced by a full-width head-up display (HUD) on the windshield, controlled by an instrument panel that is a large interactive touchpad display. Picture: SUPPLIED

The car also features a part-time level-five autonomous driving system, which when engaged retracts the steering wheel and instrument to provide more room for the front occupants.

Media or other entertainment, such as a movie for a long highway haul, can be displayed on the full-width HUD video system.

HabaNiro features Kia’s new Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving (R.E.A.D.) system which can personalise a vehicle cabin space by analysing a driver’s emotional state, using artificial intelligence to recognise the driver’s bio signals.

There’s also no traditional rear view mirror. The AI senses the driver’s need to see behind the vehicle and activates the 180° rearview video display.