A Kia Niro designed for Uber and other rideshare drivers is due in Australia later this year.
Based on a standard Niro hybrid and electric SUV, the new variant has been stretched 80mm and raised 10mm for improved cabin space.
Photos reveal passenger grab handles, extra storage, door reflectors, and modified seats are part of the new package.
A “further enhanced” version for taxi drivers is sold in South Korea, however Australia will get a variant intended for private ownership and/or rideshare use.
A spokesperson for Kia told Drive: “Australia has been selected as one of the overseas markets to launch the general version.
“It will be limited volume and arriving during second half – further details will be confirmed in due course.”
Electric, plug-in hybrid, and conventional hybrid options have been confirmed for production, however it’s unclear which of these will be offered locally.
“Kia is … introducing new mobility products that are tailored to the needs of users in markets around the world,” a Kia executive said in a media statement.
“The Niro Plus is our first step into the world of (purpose-built vehicles), a market that holds great potential for future development.”
Kia claims it’s on track to launch its own electric ground-up rideshare vehicle in 2025.
The South Korean car maker is yet to release details for the model, but says it will likely be a similar size to the current Niro.
William Davis has written for Drive since July 2020, covering news and current affairs in the automotive industry. He has maintained a primary focus on industry trends, autonomous technology, electric vehicle regulations, and local environmental policy. As the newest addition to the Drive team, William was brought onboard for his attention to detail, writing skills, and strong work ethic. Despite writing for a diverse range of outlets – including the Australian Financial Review, Robb Report, and Property Observer – since completing his media degree at Macquarie University, William has always had a passion for cars.