South Korean car maker Kia will launch an all-electric crossover in 2021 that will sit above the e-Niro compact SUV and e-Soul urban car as a halo model.
Based on the Imagine concept we first saw at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, the UK’s Auto Express reports that the new high-performance electric model will have similar charging characteristics to the luxury electric Porsche Taycan sports car with an 800 volt architecture.
The vehicle, known internally as the Kia CV, will be built on the Hyundai Group’s E-GMP electric platform and deliver 480+ kilometres driving range, Auto Express says.
Drawing from the South Korean brand’s partnership with electric hypercar designer Rimac, Kia Motors Europe COO Emilio Herrera also told Auto Express that a GT version of the Kia CV could be expected to rival the Taycan.
“We will have in the new EV a high-performance vehicle like an e-GT,” Herrera was quoted as saying by Auto Express.
The Kia Imagine was designed at the car maker’s Frankfurt design centre, and at the time was billed as an “emotional statement” signifying the car maker’s vision of the future.
With an edgy take on Kia’s “tiger nose” grille, it was described at the time by Gregory Guillaume, VP of design at Kia Europe as a vehicle that gives you “goose bumps when you looked at it, and made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.”
But the Imagine concept did not stray too far from Kia’s ultimate production goals, it seems.
Style-wise, the Kia CV will likely stick close to the Imagine’s fastback-style C-segment sports utility image. As discussed at the Geneva Motor Show by Kia’s then-chief designer, Luc Donkerwolke, none of the concept’s design was unfeasible from a production perspective.
“There are some cost-related issues that have to be validated, but it hasn’t been done by designers who don’t understand how to build a car for production,” he was quoted as saying at the time.
It certainly sounds like an alluring prospect from the South Korean brand, but when and if it will make it Australia is another thing. Kia Australia is pushing for its current all-electric models to come to local shores but all previous plans to introduce the popular e-Niro and e-Soul have been put on hold to answer demand and comply with vehicle emissions regulations overseas.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.