Inicio Concept Cars Watch Out, Tesla: Kia Reveals Three Stylish New Electric Cars

Watch Out, Tesla: Kia Reveals Three Stylish New Electric Cars

Watch Out, Tesla: Kia Reveals Three Stylish New Electric Cars

Kia has revealed a pair of new concept cars, expanding its future electric vehicle range with a compact SUV and a battery-powered sedan.

Announced at Kia’s ‘EV Day’ in its native South Korea, the concepts were joined by the production version of the upcoming EV5, an electric compact SUV. All three will sit alongside the EV6 hatch and EV9, a full-size SUV, as Kia seeks to fill out its electric car lineup.

Kia says its “EV for all” strategy will see the company “significantly and rapidly extend” its electric car lineup. All will play a role in Kia’s plan to sell one million electric vehicles annually by 2026, increasing to 1.6 million units per year by 2030. The company is also expected to announce a smaller car, called the EV2 and designed for Europe, in the future.

The EV5 was originally revealed as a car designed for China, but Kia has now said it will be sold globally. The company went on to say how, once complete, its EV lineup will be priced from $30,000 to $80,000. This will include smaller electric cars like the EV 5, EV4 and EV3, which will be priced from $35,000 to $50,000. An EV2 (and potentially a car called the EV1) are expected to sit below this.

Although it will be available globally, Kia has opted to only announce the specifications of the Chinese and Korean market versions of the EV5.

Built on the E-GMP platform (also used by electric cars from the related Hyundai and Genesis brands), the EV5 will come as standard in China with a 64 kWh battery pack, a 160 kW (251 horsepower) motor and an expected driving range of 530 km (330 miles) when using China’s CLTC test cycle.

A long-range version of the EV5 will have an 88 kWh battery, two electric motors for all-wheel-drive and a combined output of 230 kW (308 hp), and a target range of 650 km (404 miles). Kia says fast charging will allow the battery to fill from 30 to 80 percent in 27 minutes – an achievement made possible because the E-GMP platform is one of the few that operates at 800 volts instead of 400.

Kia says a high-performance version called the EV5 GT will be offered with an “engaging driving experience”. This will no doubt be similar to what’s offered by today’s EV6 GT, which has almost 580 horsepower, a 0-60 mph time of five seconds and even a “drift mode”.

Inside, the EV5’s minimalist cabin has a pair of 12.3in digital displays, sat next to each other. One is for the driver and the other, a touchscreen, is for the infotainment system. Below this are four controls Kia describes as “hidden hard keys” and which are used to control the ventilation and cabin temperature. Kia says the four keys replace what previously required 17 buttons to control.

Like the EV6, the EV5 has vehicle-to-load (V2L) technology, where its battery can be used to power external devices like camping appliances, and in countries where the infrastructure allows, Kia says the car’s surplus battery energy can be shared with the grid.

As for the concept electric cars revealed today, Kia describes the EV3 as a car that provides “the technology, practicality and design of the flagship [EV9] SUV in a compact form.”

Although still a concept for now, the EV3 shares much of its design DNA with the EV9, which in production guise looks remarkably similar to the concept on which it was based. It is therefore likely the EV3 Kia eventually puts on sale will look similar to today’s concept. Design highlights include a cab-forward stance with a relatively short hood, a long sloping roofline and what Kia describes as a “robust body” created by the squared wheel arches cut with asymmetrical angles, the wraparound windshield, and a disconnected C pillar creating a floating roof design.

Kia hasn’t yet revealed any technical details for the EV3 (or the EV4, for that matter), but they will undoubtedly share the same modular E-GMP platform as their Kia and Hyundai siblings. Inside, the EV3 shares a cabin that is similar to that of the EV5, with its spacious layout, single infotainment display housing and broad use of color-matched fabric across the doors and dashboard.

Next up is the EV4, an electric sedan concept that Tesla should sit up and pay attention to. This four-door car is “an entirely new type of EV saloon that stands as a symbol of innovation,” Kia says. Highlights here include the low nose, elongated profile with a sloping roofline and the angular surfacing that has become Kia’s EV house style of late. Kia says the concept’s design attributes, like the subtle roof spoiler, are “reminiscent of sports and racing cars,”

The interior is broadly the same as that of the EV3 concept, with the same infotainment display and use of fabric and ambient lighting. I imagine the flat-sided steering wheel will be dropped before the car goes into production. Kia says how the minimal cabin and slimmed-down instrument panel help “clear the mind from distractions and prepare for upcoming tasks.”

Continuing this theme, the EV4 concept has a new ‘Mind Modes’ function that adjusts the ambient lighting and animated ventilation patterns spanning the entire width of the cabin. Examples of modes include ‘Perform’ and ‘Serenity’, with the latter using digital graphics to create a more relaxed ambience “for reflection and restoration,” Kia says.

There’s no word on performance, pricing or availability for either of these new Kia concept cars. But given how it wants to sell one million EVs annually in just three years’ time, I doubt we’ll have long to wait until production versions join the rest of the Kia lineup.