Kia, flush with critical acclaim for its recently-launched EV9 large electric SUV, has shown the EV5 concept.
Based on the E-GMP platform
Guess what? It's a smaller electric SUV concept, using the same styling cues as the bigger EV9. Oh, and it also uses the same E-GMP electric car platform, so you're looking at a potential range of up to 550km on one charge.
If and when it makes production, that is, but based on the EV9, we can probably safely expect this EV5 concept to be pretty close to what you'll actually be able to buy.
When? That's a trickier question. The EV5 looks and is sized roughly like a potential replacement for the Sportage, but it would likely be much more expensive - the EV9 is very much a premium product with premium pricing, for example. So, is the EV5 a new Sportage, which will replace the current - and only recently launched - model? Probably not - the EV5 will probably sit alongside and above the Sportage, which suggests a potential production model by 2025 or 2026.
Kia's expansion in China
More importantly, the EV5 is a neat bit of publicity for Kia's launch of its electric lineup in the all-important Chinese car market. "It is my great privilege to proudly announce that Kia is entering the EV market in China. The Kia Concept EV5 marks yet another definitive step on our mission to become a leader in sustainable mobility solutions to provide a better future for all. Kia will enrich our customers' lifestyles and enable them to pursue personal adventures by setting fresh standards for dynamic and efficient electric driving." said Ho Sung Song, President and CEO of Kia Corporation.
"The Kia Concept EV5 takes influence from the contrast and complementarity of natural landscapes and man-made architecture. It is designed to inspire our customers on every journey, while providing sustainable and environmentally responsible solutions. Created for those who seek inventive new ideas, the SUV brings together emotional form language with innovative, user-focused interior architecture," explained Karim Habib, Executive Vice President and Head of Kia Global Design Center.
Up front, the EV5 uses the same 'digital tiger face' look as the bigger EV9, and given how far out the EV9 looks, it doesn't seem so unlikely for a final production model. The concept gets really cool Iceberg matte green paint and 21-inch wheels.
Inside is the expected flat floor, which gives you lots of space, but there's an unexpected feature, too - seats that swivel to face outwards when the doors open. The EV5, like the original EV9 concept, gets a pillarless design with rear-hinged back doors, so you can open up the entire side of the car. There's even a little fold-out coffee table, so this starts to look like a lovely space from which to watch a sporting event or just enjoy a view.
Full-length panoramic sunroof
The EV5 comes with a full-length panoramic sunroof, which also acts as solar panels, and which Kia says "provides the perfect opportunity for occupants to enjoy the stars as they emerge in the sky above." There's also clever interior lighting, which can be adjusted according to your mood.
The dash gets soft, recycled materials and a minimalist design based around a single large, curving touchscreen. The recycled materials include plant-based materials like seaweed extract and upcycled PET bottles on the seats, doors, dashboard, and headliner, setting new sustainability standards without using animal leather.