Kia Reveals the Sleek EV6 Crossover, its First Battery-Powered Vehicle

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【Summary】​On Monday, automaker Kia revealed the first official images of the upcoming EV6 crossover, the company's first dedicated battery electric vehicle (BEV), ahead of the car’s world premiere later this month. The EV6 is based on Kia’s new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) and marks Kia’s shifting focus towards electrification of its model lineup.

FutureCar Staff    Apr 21, 2021 3:45 PM PT
Kia Reveals the Sleek EV6 Crossover, its First Battery-Powered Vehicle
The fully-electric EV6 from Kia.

Electric vehicle pioneer Tesla continues to face new competition in the electric vehicle space for the first time in the company's history. The latest battery-powered vehicle that will soon hit the market comes from South Korean automaker Kia Corporation.

 On Monday, Kia revealed the first images of the exterior and interior design of its upcoming EV6, the automaker's first dedicated battery electric vehicle (BEV), ahead of the car's world premiere later this month.

The EV6 is based on Kia's new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) and marks Kia's shifting focus towards electrification of its model lineup.

With the launch of the EV6, competition in the EV segment that's been dominated by Tesla is heating up. The Kia EV6 is poised to be a strong competitor to the Tesla Model Y crossover and Ford's Mach-E SUV.

"We strongly believe EV6 is a compelling and relevant model for the new EV market," said Karim Habib, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Design Center. "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."

The exterior design of EV6 represents Kia's evolution as a company producing advanced electric vehicles. The side profile of the SUV displays a crossover-inspired design aesthetic, which Kia describes as "modern, sleek and aerodynamic." This contrasts with sharp lines and high-tech details, including a swept-back windshield.

The overall design of the EV6 is the result of a collaborative effort between Kia's global design network in Namyang, Korea Frankfurt, Germany and Irvine, Calif, the automaker said.

"We want our products to deliver an instinctive and natural experience that improves the daily lives of our customers. Our aim is to design the physical experience of our brand and to create original, inventive, and exciting electric vehicles," said Habib.

The EV6 was designed to be aerodynamic, which can help to extend range. The rear of the vehicle displays a sloping rear C-pillar. Above this sits a roof spoiler that channels air downwards towards a raised lower spoiler which sits above the rear tailights.

The EV6 interior design offers increased space compared to previous Kia EVs, thanks to Kia's new dedicated E-GMP platform that places the batteries low in the floor to free up valuable cabin space. 

One of the most striking elements of the new interior is a large, high-tech curved high-definition audio visual and navigation screen. The massive screen extends from the steering wheel across to the center of the car, it displays an instrument cluster in front of the driver, and infotainment and navigation above the center console. 

Like Tesla vehicles, the interior of the EV6 sports a minimalistic design, with a minimal number of physical buttons which results in an uncluttered interior space, according to Kia. The dashboard slopes away towards the front of the car, creating a sense of space and openness for the front-seat passengers.


The EV6 interior.

Kia made headlines around the world after it was reported that the company was in talks with computer giant Apple Inc to build an electric, Apple-branded self-driving car. Although those talks have ended, it's not slowing Kia's aggressive plans to become one of the world leading producers of electric vehicles. The EV6 represents the beginning of that goal.

By 2030, eco-friendly vehicles will make up 40 percent of all sales for Kia. These models include new electric vehicles (EVs), hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles. Kia annual sales target is 1.6 million electric vehicles by 2030.

By 2026, the company plans to have 11 new electric models in its lineup. Seven of these vehicles will be built on the company's new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) architecture. The remaining 4 will be based on Kia's existing vehicle platforms.

Kia's investment from 2020 to 2025 is expected to be KRW 29 trillion (US$26.2 billion). With the massive investment, Kia, as well as its parent Hyundai, are poised to become major players in the EV space that's been dominated by Tesla. More affordable fully-electric vehicles like the new EV6 could take away sales from Tesla, especially for the company's Model Y crossover. 

The EV6 will make its world premiere in March 2021, during a special online event.

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