In January, Kia released individual teasers of a few dedicated EVs it plans to introduce by 2027. The Korean brand is working on seven such models, including SUVs and sedans, and has confirmed that these will be named ‘EV1’ to ‘EV9’. The Kia EV6 that debuted on March 15 was the first of the dedicated Kia electric cars.
Of particular interest are three crossover/SUV models, enhanced teasers, pictured in this story. From top to bottom, according to Karim Habib, Head of Kia Global Design are, “a powerful and dynamic crossover,” “a fun and practical commuter,” and “a strong and bold SUV”. These models should be the recently-revealed Kia EV6 (also shown in the featured image), a crossover that takes after the Soul EV, and a large Kia SUV belonging to the segment of the Hyundai Ioniq 7.
The Kia “fun and practical commuter” features a silhouette very similar to that of the e-Soul, sporting the model’s distinctive C-pillar garnish.
Kia EV7/Kia EV8
The “strong and bold SUV” is designed to look like a conventional or frame SUV, and it goes without saying that it would be a three-row model. It won’t surprise us if it turns out as the Sorento’s all-electric cousin and the Kia equivalent of the Ioniq 7. According to a report from The Korean Car Blog, Kia may call it EV7 or EV8, and an early prototype has also been spotted in South Korea (image in the link).
Our rendering (below) shows what the potential Kia EV7 or Kia EV8 can look like if the exterior design is cued by the Kia EV6, a realistic expectation. It incorporates the same ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy, the “Digital Tiger” grille, sleek DRLs that form part of the ‘Digital Tiger Face’ and double as sequential turn indicators, and flush door handles. The hood is set high and flattish for a masculine appearance.
The three-row electric SUV has a conventional roofline, a nearly straight beltline, and large windows and quarter glass panels for an airy cabin accommodating the whole family. The design of the side structure is quite plain and conventional, except for flush-fit handles. The digital mirrors provide more aerodynamic efficiency on the sides compared to traditional SUVs. The emphasis is on the interior space and road presence.
According to a report from Auto Express, Kia could introduce the EV7/EV8 in 2023.
6 of the 7 dedicated EVs will release by 2025
In September last year, Hyundai Motor Group announced plans to launch seven dedicated Kia EVs by 2027. According to an official document in the public domain that TopElectricSUV accessed recently, six dedicated Kia electric cars will arrive by 2025.
The six dedicated electric cars would expand Kia’s EV portfolio to eleven models by 2025, as the company announced in its ‘Plan S’ mid-to-long-term strategy at the beginning of 2020. The company expects EVs to account for 12.3% of its sales by 2025. The five remaining EVs would be derivative models and include a next-gen Kia Niro EV.
Dedicated Kia electric cars get a new nomenclature
New trademark applications at the Korea Intellectual Property Office at the end of last year indicated that the seven dedicated Kia EVs scheduled for release between 2021 and 2017 could be given alphanumerical names. Before the EV6 release, Kia confirmed the nomenclature of these models.
Kia had filed trademark applications for ‘Kia EK’, ‘Kia IK’ and ‘Kia EV’ name series, with a number between 1 to 9 at the suffix. The Kia EV name series in these trademark applications, for instance, is as follows:
- Kia EV1
- Kia EV2
- Kia EV3
- Kia EV4
- Kia EV5
- Kia EV6
- Kia EV7
- Kia EV8
- Kia EV9
“These (dedicated Kia EVs) will simply be named EV1 to EV9,” Karim Habib said at the new Kia brand showcase event in January. Hyundai also follows an alphanumerical nomenclature for its upcoming dedicated EVs (Hyundai Ioniq) that use the E-GMP architecture. In the case of Hyundai, odd numbers are designated exclusively to crossovers.
4 of the 7 dedicated Kia electric cars are crossover SUVs
In the announcement that came in September, HMG released a shadowy teaser of the seven dedicated Kia electric cars that will hit markets worldwide by 2027. The picture (exposure heightened) hinted that no less than 4 out of the 7 next-gen Kia electric cars would be crossover SUVs. The three models on the left and the one model on the extreme-right have a high-positioned bonnet and a boxy body and/or roofline. Some models sport a flattish roofline or large windows, which are typical characteristics of high-riding vehicles.
The first dedicated Kia electric car, the Kia EV6, is a new type of crossover. Derived from the Kia Imagine concept first seen at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, it fuses the solid proportions of a muscular SUV with a relatively simple body of a sedan.
The C-segment Kia EV6 with SUV styling rides on HMG’s Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). An 800-volt battery system, rapid-charging support, and a 3.5-second 0-100 km/h acceleration time make the Kia EV6 a highly aspirational vehicle and a new breed of Kia. It competes for market share with the VW ID.5 and Skoda Enyaq iV Coupe, offering a range (WLTP) of over 510 km (316 miles) and a high-speed charging time (10-80% SoC) of 18 minutes.
Video Source: youtube.com/Hyundai Motor Group
More electric SUVs are lined up this decade
Crossovers and SUVs have been in a rally globally, and their popularity would grow exponentially in the EV era. Two reasons support this expectation; the scenario now is that SUVs and EV technology help each other thrive.
EV technology is more suited to the SUV body style because of its potential to pack batteries on the floor without eating into cabin space (thanks to the added height of the vehicle) which would mean longer range and addressing the issue of range anxiety. On the other hand, SUVs, which have a reputation for low fuel economy and expensive service bills, would benefit from EV technology because of the far lower cost of running and maintenance.
A ‘hidden’ advantage is that the battery pack can be placed flat on the vehicle’s floor, which lowers the center of gravity (in principle), leading to an engaging driver experience. No wonder HMG is bullish on electric crossovers SUVs and has a full lineup in the pipeline.
The Kia EV6 and Kia EV6 GT-Line will go on sale later this year, but deliveries of the Kia EV6 GT will begin only in the second half of 2022.
Featured Image Source: Kia