Kia is planning a major campaign of alternative-fuel vehicle launches in the next four years.
The brand’s European boss, Michael Cole, said: “By 2020, Kia will offer 14 alternative-fuel vehicles globally. They will include EVs, hybrids and plug-in hybrids, as well as a fuel cell model.”
A hybrid Optima estate is due soon, along with a plug-in version of the Niro, joining the recently launched Niro hybrid, the established Soul EV and the hybrid Optima saloon. Cole, who believes that hybrids are now more widely accepted, added that a fuel cell Kia will appear “around 2020”.
Cole also confirmed that Kia is developing a small crossover to rival the Nissan Juke, as revealed by Autocar in 2014. “It’s very exciting and a natural fit because of the Sportage and Sorento SUVs,” he said. “It’s an area where we’ve actually got some heritage.”
Kia is also strengthening its enthusiast offerings, notably with its first dedicated sports model, the production version of the 2011 GT concept due to emerge next year. “The sports car is a halo model,” said Cole. “It’s sporty, a modern design and has better dynamics. Now is the time for a GT from Kia, because it’s credible.”