Kia’s first all-electric vehicle also brings in the brand’s new ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy.
Kia Motors has released images of its first all-electric vehicle, the EV6 crossover. Based on Hyundai’s E-GMP platform that also underpins the Ioniq 5, the Kia EV6 also debuts the brand’s new ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy.
EV6 features a ‘Digital Tiger Face’, a progression of Kia’s signature ‘Tiger Nose Grille’ for EVs
New design language will be used to style all future Kia models
Kia EV6 global unveil in the coming weeks
Kia’s new ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy
The Kia EV6 was styled using the brand’s new design philosophy ‘Opposites United’. The new design language is said to draw inspiration from “the contrasts found in nature and humanity” and will be used to style all future Kia models. The design philosophy aims to create a new visual identity by using “contrasting combinations of sharp stylistic elements and sculptural shapes”. Kia’s new ‘Opposites United’ design language is based on five key design pillars: ‘Bold for Nature’, ‘Joy for Reason’, ‘Power to Progress’, ‘Technology for Life’, and ‘Tension for Serenity’.
Being a ‘young’ brand with relatively less history than other mainstream manufacturers also enables Kia to follow a new design direction, which offers designers more creative freedom. Commenting on the matter, Karim Habib, senior vice president and head of Global Design Center said, “I think the aspect of creative freedom at Kia may have to do with history, but it also has to do with our philosophy, where we are, what we want to be with the brand and the vision of what design can do and should do for a brand. If I start with the brand aspect, we are redefining, recreating the brand, reshaping the values of the brand in every aspect. So that, in itself, gives us strong creative freedom. To the second aspect, the role of design in the company, Kia also values the impact of design, not just on the object itself, but on the brand as a whole. So yes, those are independent maybe of the history, those are aspects of the brand that really allow us that creativity”.
Kia EV6: exterior styling
Speaking about the EV6’s design, Habib said “With the EV6, we aimed to create a distinctive, impactful design by using a combination of sophisticated, high-tech features on pure and rich volumes, while providing a unique space as a futuristic EV.”
Up front, the EV6 gets a clamshell bonnet with Kia’s new logo and large, angular headlights that flank a slim front grille. The headlights feature striking LED daytime running lights that are said to form the car’s ‘Digital Tiger Face’, which is a progression of Kia’s signature ‘Tiger Nose Grille’ for the electrified era. Lower down on the front bumper is an air intake that channels air under the car for optimum aerodynamics. The Kia EV6 has a swept-back windshield and a sloping C-pillar with wide rear haunches, which lends it a crossover stance. The EV6 also features some body cladding around the wheel wells and a distinct character line that runs along the bottom of the doors and curves upwards near the rear wheels. At the back, the Kia EV6 sports unique tail-lights that span the width of the bootlid and taper downwards, into the rear quarter panel. There are also two spoilers at the rear, one is mounted on the roof and the other is positioned just above the tail-lights.
When questioned about the importance of design for EVs, Habib added, “The opportunities that come with EVs, I think, are very good and very big for design. But I’d like to maybe think of it where design is not just a styling opportunity, it’s really an industrial design view of things or a more user-experience view of things – design becomes more important not just by the way they look, but by the way they feel, by the way they are used, or by the ergonomics that an EV allows. We talk often of a flat floor or having a thinner dashboard because some components we have been able to shift in the front part of the car. So I think yes, our role becomes more important and our responsibility becomes a bit higher as well.”
The EV6’s design is the result of a collaborative effort between all three studios in Kia’s global design network. The studios are based in Namyang in Korea, Frankfurt in Germany and Irvine in California, USA.
Kia EV6: interior styling
On the inside, the Kia EV6 features a slim dashboard which houses two large screens. There’s one for the digital instrument cluster and the other screen, which is curved, is for the infotainment system. The steering wheel is all-new and gets a two-spoke design with integrated buttons.
Below the infotainment screen are the slim AC vents, which run along the width of the dash, and the HVAC controls, which get haptic buttons. The centre console, meanwhile, houses a rotary gear selector, two cupholders, the start-stop button and a centre armrest.
The Kia EV6 also features slim, lightweight seats that are trimmed in fabrics created using recycled plastics. The Kia EV6 is said to be very practical. “The point was really creating a lot of leg room and creating storage in different areas that allow you to use that space”, commented Habib.
Kia EV range: what's coming?
The EV6 is the first of Kia's bespoke electric cars and it’ll see a world premiere in the coming weeks. Moving forward, each all-electric Kia models will adopt the EV prefix and a number that corresponds to its size. As part of the wide-reaching Plan S transformation strategy, the brand will shift its focus away from ICE cars to EVs, seven of which it will launch by 2027.