Kia has released the first official teaser sketches of the Niro hybrid crossover which is due to be unveiled next year.

Described as a Hybrid Utility Vehicle (HUV), Kia says the Niro marks the development of the brand's first dedicated eco-car platform. The Korean automaker adds that the Niro is engineered as a hybrid vehicle the features “attractive” and “modern” styling.

First previewed as a concept during the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, Kia says the production version of the Niro will feature a “sporty, aerodynamic body” along with “subtly sculpted surfaces and styling details.”

Rear of the production Kia Niro

Judging from the teaser photos, the Niro is fitted with sharp-looking blacked-out headlights, a distinctive bumper and the brand's signature tiger nose grill. The rear of the Niro is equipped with large horizontal taillamps, a roof-mounted spoiler, an aggressive bumper and an aluminum underbody protection.

The Niro will be powered by a 1.6-liter 'Kappa' gasoline direct injection engine that delivers 105 PS and 147 Nm of torque. The said engine will be combined with a 1.56 kWh lithium-polymer battery and 32 kW electric motor. The powertrain will be mated to a six-speed double-clutch transmission.