Kia has revealed its next electric vehicle, the EV3 small SUV, which will be a follow-up to the just-detailed EV5 mid-sizer.
Shown in what appears to be near-production concept form, the EV3 is set to be an electric price-leader for the brand, targeting a starting price of around $35,000 USD which currently equates to around $54,000 Australian dollars.
Size-wise, the EV3 will be the smallest electric vehicle from the brand, until the arrival of the to-be-revealed EV2 which is expected to be a hatchback or crossover focused on the European market.
The EV3 shown at Kia’s first ‘EV Day’ event in Seoul Korea had what appeared to be a close-to-production exterior, with its interior appearing more concept-like.
From the outside, it shares many design cues with the EV9 and EV5, as part of the brand’s ‘opposites unite’ philosophy.
This includes intricate and futuristic LED headlight and tail-light patterns, alongside a tough squared-off silhouette, and boxy wheel arches.
Kia has revealed its next electric vehicle, the EV3 small SUV.
The interior meanwhile consists of many new and more natural material choices and has a minimalistic design theme.
The rear-hinged rear door, not likely to make the production model, seats and steering wheel are unlike anything seen in a Kia before, although a familiar dual-screen layout for the digital dash and instrument cluster appears.
Meanwhile the rear bench seat can be folded up to turn the rear of the cabin into a storage space in similar fashion to Honda’s 'Magic Seats'.
The EV3 has been shown in what appears to be near-production concept form.
On the software front, expect the production version of the EV3 to use the new software system also seen in the EV5, which will be paired with a new, more comprehensive app which allows for deeper functionality.
The EV3 will also debut an on-board generative AI chat system, which will retroactively be updated to the EV5.
The brand said it also used natural mycelium fibres to ‘grow’ the concept EV3’s centre console piece as part of the brand’s mission to “be closer to nature”.
The EV3 is set to be an electric price-leader for Kia.
While the ‘biofabrication’ of such material is yet to be ready for production models, Kia says it is working to ‘accelerate the development of the material’ which is said to offer strength and a soft-touch surface.
The concept EV3’s cabin also uses 100 per cent recycled cottons, and dyes from walnut shells in its interior finishes. The brand also elected to show fabric materials rather than synthetic leathers for the seat and dash covers.
V2G and V2L capability will be available in the EV3, and while it is the smallest car yet to ride on the brand’s e-GMP chassis, executives confirmed that the smaller vehicles like this car will be primarily front-wheel drive as opposed to the primarily rear-wheel driveEV6 and EV9, and will also use a 400-volt battery architecture, as opposed to the 800-volt system used in the EV6 and EV9.
The concept EV3’s cabin uses 100 per cent recycled cottons.
The EV3 will also debut an on-board generative AI chat system.
The just-detailed EV5 will be the first Kia to be built in China for export to Australia, and unlike its larger EV6 and EV9 siblings, it will use the more affordable but slower-charging LFP battery technology as opposed to the higher-power but more expensive NMC chemistry it has used thus far.
Executives would not be drawn on where the EV3 would be built yet, but said it would be an important product for the European market, as well as Australia and Asia.
Kia also said the final production version of the EV3 would be revealed in 2024 as a follow-up to the EV5, although it seems unlikely we will see it in Australia until 2025.
The EV3 features a tough squared-off silhouette, and boxy wheel arches.
The EV3 will be followed by the EV4, a more low-slug sedan-like offering which also debuted in concept form at the EV day, and the brand also confirmed the existence of an EV2 which will be a more European-focused and smaller model, both of which will debut in production form in 2025.
Each are part of Kia's plan to have 15 electric cars on the market by 2027.
The EV5 mid-sizer will be the first of the newly unveiled range to arrive in Australia, in 2024.