Kia Habaniro concept to spice up the New York auto show

It appears Kia’s surprise debut for the 2019 New York International Auto Show has been spoiled. The South Korean brand plans to show off the Habaniro concept at the upcoming show and a photo has dropped ahead of time.

The sole low-quality image of the Habaniro comes from a New York show newsletter sent via email. Either Kia purposefully wanted to create some buzz, or it was a major slip-up. Nonetheless, the photo doesn’t reveal the entire concept car, just the front fascia and side profile. The front foregoes Kia’s tiger nose grille in favor of a rugged fascia with a zig-zagging stream of LED lights. There’s also a decorative skid plate at the bottom of the fascia.

It’s hard to tell, but the concept may also feature slim lights just below the hood, too. Breaking up the silver-gray exterior color is a darker gray that runs from the rugged front bumper into the lower side panel. Out back, a bright splash of red streaks across the C-pillar.

One other note from what we see: the Habaniro doesn’t feature side mirrors, which could hint there’s a camera-based system on board. Otherwise, standard concept car wheels and tries are present.

We can’t quite tell if this is an SUV or not, but there’s likely to be some relation to Kia’s Niro. The play on the word “Habanero” links the concept with the Niro, which is an SUV that offers both hybrid and battery-electric options.

What the car could preview for the U.S. market is unclear since we know Kia will show another concept car that previews a mid-size SUV planned for global markets as well.

We’ll have all the details soon as the New York auto show starts April 17. For more coverage, head to our dedicated hub.

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