Kia is getting ready to launch a “high-performance” electric car – but it won’t be focused on track performance.
“Yes, we are planning to launch the high-performance version of electrified models, including our first dedicated EV which will be revealed in the first quarter of this year,” said Kia president and CEO, Hosung Song.
Artur Martins, head of Kia’s global customer experience division, said the performance cars will “not be track cars”.
“The high-performance of Kia is about excitement to drive. It’s not so much in the [Hyundai] N or [BMW] M territory to mention a different manufacturer, of being prepared for track,” Mr Martins said.
“I think that’s an important difference. Our performance cars will not be track cars, go racing. [They’ll be cars] that consumers can experience and be excited about driving, using it in their daily lives.”
The high-performance Kia EV will join a range of seven all-new, all-electric Kia models set to launch before 2027.
Teased as a part of the brand’s relaunch this morning, the range will include a Sportage-sized crossover dubbed the CV, along with a slinky sedan, a compact coupe, and what looks like a city-sized hatchback.
The new EV range will be built on the same e-GMP bones as the Hyundai electric vehicle range.
The rear-wheel drive Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) supports batteries big enough for more than 500km of range, and supports motors that’ll propel it to 100km/h in less than 3.5 seconds.
It’ll underpin everything from sedans to high-riding crossovers and SUVs.
Like the Porsche Taycan, the e-GMP platform will make use of an 800V architecture for ultra-rapid charging at up to 350kW. That means an 80 per cent charge in just 18 minutes, or up to 100km of range in just five minutes connected to the right kind of charger.
Unlike the chassis underpinning the current Hyundai Ioniq and Kona Electric, along with the Kia e-Soul and e-Niro, the e-GMP has been designed from the ground up to support electric vehicles.
The electric motor, transmission, and inverter are packed into a single module to save space and weight.
Although it’s rear-wheel drive as standard, the e-GMP platform will also support dual-motor all-wheel drive. When it’s required the second motor will kick in to provide more performance or better traction, but otherwise it can be decoupled to aid efficiency.
The battery will be mounted between the axles, and is backed by a dedicated cooling block structure in the platform. Hyundai claims its lithium-ion batteries 10 per cent more energy dense than existing ones, allowing them to be lighter, slimmer, and mounted lower in the chassis.