Ahead its official world premiere later this month, Kia released the first photos of its upcoming battery electric EV6 on Sunday, and we have to say, it looks pretty darn good. In addition to being the brand’s first dedicated electric model and its first vehicle build on the new Electric-Global Modular Platform — which also underpins the new Hyundai Ioniq 5 — the EV6 will also be the first example of Kia’s new Opposites United design philosophy. That’s a lot of new ground to break, so it’s a good thing the EV6 makes such a strong first impression.
The EV6 boasts a crossover-like design with genre-bending proportions, not unlike the recently debuted Ioniq 5, but more windswept and streamlined than the angular and upright Hyundai. Up front is Kia’s new logo and a set of large headlamps connected by a narrow upper grille. Angular daytime signature lights light up with a sequential animation. Along with the larger, more aggressive lower opening — which serves an aerodynamic function — these details form what Kia’s designers are calling the “digital tiger face.” The look is supposed to evoke the spirit of the automaker’s current “tiger nose” grille, but I don’t really see it.
There’s a very cool character line that runs along the bottom of the door before angling upward to join the wrap-around taillights, which separate the steeply raked, almost Jaguar I-Pace-like rear glass and spoiler from the rest of the hatch. Dark trim around the EV6’s lower edge and wheel arches slim the silhouette somewhat, giving the whole vehicle a fairly sporty profile.
Inside, the EV6 promises to deliver more space than you’d expect from a vehicle in its class — a hallmark of the E-GMP platform — though Kia hasn’t released specific dimensions. It’s probably safe to assume that the scale isn’t too far off the Ioniq 5’s mark. Where the Hyundai features a very flat dashboard design, the EV6 wraps its cockpit around the driver’s seat, integrating the digital instrument cluster and the massive center display into one curved black panel. Ahead of the driver is a two-spoke steering wheel. Between the front seats is a floating, two-tier center console which is home to the start button, a rotary shifter and what appears to be a generous lower stowage area. Overall, the interior looks as good as the EV6’s exterior design.
We’re still waiting to learn more about the Kia EV6’s electric performance, range, charging tech and availability. We expect the numbers to stick closely to the Ioniq 5’s single and dual motor electric powertrains, meaning there should be anywhere from 218 to 306 horsepower, 258 to 446 pound-feet of torque and up to an estimated 300 miles of range on the European WLTP cycle. Then again, the Hyundai Motor Group has been putting more and more effort into differentiating the common products across its brands, so perhaps there will be surprises yet to be revealed when the electric crossover makes its debut later this month.
The EV6 isn’t just Kia’s first dedicated EV or the first model to use the new E-GMP platform. It also debuts a new design philosophy for all future Kia models.
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