Kia has revealed its new EV6, the first battery electric vehicle from the brand that has been designed from the ground up as an EV.
The mid-sized SUV is built on the new Hyundai/Kia E-GMP platform and ushers in a new “opposites unite” design philosophy for the Korean brand.
While it’s the electric drivetrain that is one of the headlines with the new EV6, it’s the new design story that Kia is focusing on in unleashing its soon-to-arrive mid-sized crossover. The EV6 is the first of a family of EV models that could eventually run from EV1 through to EV9.
With input from Kia design studios in Korea, Germany and the United States, the EV6 has a global flavour and introduces a radical new look for Kia, one that will flow through to other models in the range – including those with petrol or diesel engines.
While the EV6 is clearly a new direction for Kia – one with futuristic themes throughout – it also incorporates current Kia design themes, including a digital version of the “tiger nose” grille, something Kia describes as a “design progression … for the electrified era”. There’s also the pinched C-pillar towards the rear of the car with a thin black panel to visually separate the main body of the car from the roof.
Black wheel arch flares and an accented side skirt surrounding the bottom section of the body reinforce the crossover nature of the EV6.
Clearly Tesla and the emerging breed of EV crossovers is a target for the EV6.
“We strongly believe EV6 is a compelling and relevant model for the new EV market,” said Kia design boss Karim Habib.
“With EV6 we aimed to create a distinctive, impactful design by using a combination of sophisticated, high-tech features on pure and rich volumes, while providing a unique space as a futuristic EV.”
Modern look, tech focus for Kia EV6 interior
Inside, designers have focused on space utilisation by maximising the benefits of a ground-up EV design.
The dash tilts a large touchscreen to the driver and has a simplified collection of buttons for ventilation and audio controls.
There’s a separate centre console incorporating storage, cupholders and a rotary drive selector and the stop-start button.
Fresh textured materials are part of an increased focus on finishes and details in what is a modern and stylish cabin.
“We want our products to deliver an instinctive and natural experience that improves the daily lives of our customers,” said Habib, who added that technology and connectivity was a focus for EV6.
“Our aim is to design the physical experience of our brand and to create original, inventive, and exciting electric vehicles. The ideas of our designers and the purpose of the brand are becoming more connected than ever, with our customers at the centre of what we do and influencing every decision that we make.”
A Kia spokesperson told EV Central “we are certainly interested and in discussions, but not confirmed at this stage”.
In announcing the EV6 Kia didn’t detail the electric drivetrain (or drivetrains) for the EV6.
However, late last year Kia and Hyundai outlined the details of the E-GMP architecture that underpins it.
800V electrical architecture for ultra-rapid charging
That means an 800V electrical architecture allowing ultra-rapid charging at up to 350kW, with the potential to add 100km of range in around five minutes.
Educated guesses suggest the EV6 will share plenty with the recently-revealed Ioniq 5 from sister brand Hyundai.
That would also mean the choice between a single or dual electric motor for either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive capability, the latter with more power and better performance.
The Ioniq 5 is also available with two battery capacities, something that would allow further choice is the EV6 adopted a similar strategy.
The EV6 will also get vehicle-to-load (V2L) functionality providing up to 3.5kW that allows the car to power external equipment such as camping equipment, power tools or even an air-conditioner.
Expect decent performance from the EV6, too – and Kia has confirmed even more with EV performance models under development.