Kia’s next-generation electric car promises hot hatch levels of performance, the company claims.
The 2022 Kia EV6 electric car – due in Australia next year – is poised to overtake the Kia Stinger twin-turbo V6 sedan as the brand’s performance flagship.
While the Kia Stinger has just received a mid-life facelift and is selling at a rate better than expected in Australia, weak sales overseas have cast doubt over the future of the model beyond its current lifecycle.
The Kia Stinger still has at least three years left to run on its planned production cycle but the company is yet to commit to a like-for-like successor, previously hinting it could be an electric car.
But Kia’s performance-car mantle could be replaced sooner than that, according to the boss of Kia Australia, who indicated the new Kia EV6 would take the brand’s performance credentials to the next level.
“The Kia Stinger has been good to us on many fronts,” said Damien Meredith, the boss of Kia Australia, in a roundtable meeting with media this week. “It’s given a performance edge to our brand which we didn’t have before.”
However, the new Kia EV6 “will be the next step up in performance sharpness,” he said, without detailing final Australian-market power and performance figures.
Kia Australia says it initially plans to import only the long-range version of the Kia EV6 and aims to position the vehicle as a rival to the Tesla Model 3 sedan and Tesla Model Y SUV, which is yet to be released locally.
“We want to put our best foot forward” to address “range anxiety,” said Kia Australia product planner Roland Rivera. “Should the market dictate desirability for (the short-range battery), we will consider it.”
Meanwhile, the Kia Niro EV – which went on sale in Australia this week even though it is five years old and nearing the end of its production cycle – was designed to prepare the Kia dealer network for the rollout of more electric cars.
Most dealers have installed recharging stations, however Kia said it was up to individual dealers whether they would charge customers a fee for top ups.
While local arrival timing for the Kia EV6 is yet to be announced, the company said it would be the start of a broader rollout of purely electric models in its future line-up.
Kia estimates electric cars will account for about 10 per cent of sales among mainstream manufacturers in Australia within the next 10 years.
2022 Kia EV6 electric car to overtake Stinger as Kia’s performance icon, says executive