Autocar confidential: Seat, Smart, Mini, Kia

This week, the gossip, the automobile industry has news of a Cupra version of the new Ibiza, the Smart in North America, the Mini line-up and a all-electric Kia Niro.

There will be a new Ibiza Cupra?

Seat executive vice president for research and development Matthias Rabe, says a Cupra version of the new Ibiza “is not a priority”.

Ibiza Cupra R&D costs would be similar to those of the more expensive Leon Cupra and it is simply not profitable. Instead, watch out for the next Ateca Cupra (Autocar has already been spying on the development of cars) and the possibility of a more extreme Leon Cupra 300 R was prepared for this year’s Frankfurt motor show.

Read more: 2017 Seat Ibiza qualities and revealed the 2017 Seat Ibiza is “a big change,” says UK boss Richard Harrison

Smart line-up in North America

Daimler has decided to sell only electric variants of the Smart brand in North America, although there are currently no plans to axe petrol versions in Europe.

North America is a very small market for the Smart, but its electric models have had a better impact on sales over the petrols. In Europe, the petrol variants are still popular, so Daimler will not want to take them off the market.

Read more: Smart Forfour Electric Drive 2017 review, Smart Fortwo Cabrio and Forfour special editions unveiled

Mini growing line-up

There will be no Mini larger than the Countryman in this third generation of new Minis – but could still grow in the future. Boss Peter Schwarzenbauer, said that “with this generation, and the architecture, the Countryman is the biggest Mini, you will see”, without specifying what it means for the future.

Read more: 2017 Mini Countryman S And the hybrid model, on sale from June, Mini believes it movement EV production in Germany between the Brexit concerns

Niro goes electric

An all-electric version of the Kia Niro crossover will go on sale in 2018, shortly after a plug-in hybrid version of the car arrives at the end of this year.

The Niro, which will be crucial in helping the Korean brand to grow its portfolio of environmentally-friendly vehicles, it shares the basics with Hyundai Ioniq.

Read more: 2017 Kia Picanto revealed at the Geneva motor show, the 2017 Kia Stinger European specifications confirmed