Kia Gets Airy over its First BEV

Aerodynamics and a focus on digital technology are the leading design influencers in Kia’s first BEV to be virtually unveiled later this month.

While the automaker looses itself in plenty of semantic allusions about the EV6’s design mission, in reality a BEV’s ability to slice through the air with the minimum of resistance is its best chance to attract consumers still anxious about an electric car’s potential range. So far, Kia gives specific details but dwells on the car’s aerodynamic qualities to emphasis it realizes range will be top of a potential buyer’s wish-list.

The automaker tells us the slippery looking daytime running lights form part of the car’s ‘Digital Tiger Face’, a design progression of its ‘Tiger Nose Grille’ for the electrified era. Below this, a low air intake handles air flow from the front, channeling it through and under the car’s flat floor for clean aerodynamics.

The rear sloping C-pillar is also designed to aid air flow and boasts an integrated black glossy insert, which helps to visually widen the window glass. Above this sits a prominent roof spoiler that channels air down towards a raised lower spoiler that sits atop the car’s rear light cluster. We are told the EV6 is the result of a collaborative effort between all three studios in Kia’s global design network in Namyang, Korea, Frankfurt, Germany, and Irvine California.

Carmakers are also banking on the average BEV enthusiast’s love of digital gadgets and so Kia places much emphasis on in-cabin technology for the EV6. It says the interior design is liberated by Kia’s dedicated E-GMP platform, which offers increased space compared to previous Kia EVs based on existing model architecture.

Filling up that interior, there’s a curved high-definition audio visual and navigation screen. Extending from the steering wheel across to the center of the car, it displays an instrument cluster in front of the driver, with infotainment and navigation above the center console. The width of the screen hopes to create an ‘immersive experience’ for the driver that, one hopes, will not vie too much with the immersive experience happening out in the road in front. At least we are promised the minimal number of physical buttons to reduce clutter and confusion.

Underneath the screen, passengers can control heating, ventilation and air conditioning settings by using haptic ‘buttons’. The seats are slim, lightweight and contemporary and clad in “modern, visually interesting and robust fabrics” made using recycled plastics.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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