New model will take on Toyota Prius with bespoke platform

It’s hard to argue the popularity of the Prius and its derivatives. Toyota hit a home run with their gas-electric model when they first introduced it back in 1997. Now other manufacturers — specifically Kia — are looking to play catch up.

Autocar is reporting the Korean automaker is planning to introduce a dedicated hybrid model “within the next two years” according to officials with Kia.

The new model will ride on a “bespoke platform” and be powered by a 1.6-litre engine mated to an electric motor and new-generation hybrid transmission. It’s also expected to take the form of a five-door hatchback, slightly smaller in size than a Volkswagen Golf.

Autocar says the new car — codenamed ‘DE’ — won’t look like a hybrid. Instead, it will take the shape of a much more traditional hatchback when it arrives in a couple years.

Kia Optima Hybrid badging

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