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A sedan but not as we know it? Why 'being safe was more risky' for Kia's 2025 EV4

Kia says it would have been more risky to make its upcoming 2025 EV4 a traditional sedan.

At its inaugural ‘EV day’ in South Korea, Kia unveiled not only its upcoming EV5 in global production form, but it also showed off concepts of its EV3 small SUV, and the interestingly-shaped EV4 ‘sedan’.

The EV4 mixes the elements of a sedan, and a crossover, with the aggressive rear deck shape from its EV6 larger sibling, in an attempt to redefine how a ‘sedan’ can be interpreted.

According to the brand’s designers, “being safe was actually more risky” for the EV4, as the classic three-box sedan shape has fallen out of favour in many parts of the world, and Kia wanted to make something which could appeal to markets which still buy sedans (like its home market of South Korea), while offering consumers in more SUV-heavy markets an alternative with crossover aspects which still had an aggressive silhouette.

The EV4 concept looks a bit less close-to-production compared to the EV3 Concept, with Kia executives confirming the model won’t break cover fully until 2025.

The EV4 Concept sports four doors and sticks to the same ‘opposites unite’ philosophy as the rest of Kia’s EV range, with the proportions of a coupe, but the wheel arch claddings from an SUV. It has the most extreme face treatment of the collection, with the most unique light pattern. It also scores items like a roof spoiler, and a very short overhang at the front, which are designed to sell its sporty character.

The interior follows a similar theme to the EV3 concept, with a more open and less complex space, with colour tones Kia says are inspired by nature.

According to the brand’s designers, “being safe was actually more risky” for the EV4.

Again, the dual large screen layout persists for the digital instrument cluster and multimedia system, but Kia has endeavoured to remove clutter from the dash by putting the touch-based climate controls in a slide-out tray, and making the air vents a design highlight, by making them out of an illuminated ‘pin-style’ pattern.

The EV4 Concept also offers an array of recycled and eco-friendly materials for the interior, including the same woven-strap material for the dash materials, hemp fibres for the console table, and making the fabric surfaces out of 100 per cent recycled cotton.

While the Kia EV5 is the first car based on Hyundai Group’s e-GMP platform to go primarily front-wheel drive, and use a less powerful 400-volt architecture than the 800-volt system which is used in the EV6 and EV9, the brand did not reveal any details on its plans for the EV4’s drivetrain or battery systems.

The EV4 mixes the elements of a sedan, and a crossover.

Expect further details on the EV4’s, specs and timings for the Australian market at a later date, after its international reveal in 2025. For an idea of power levels, current Kia EVs make roughly 160-170kW from a single-motor setup, or 239kW-430kW from the dual-motor, all-wheel drive systems.

By 2026, the EV4 will form part of an expansive range of fully electric cars from Kia, which will include the EV6 and EV5 mid-size SUVs, the EV3 small SUV, and EV2 (expected to be a crossover).

To support this range of diverse models, Kia will ramp up the amount of production facilities it has in strategic locations. Korea will continue to be what the brand calls its “EV global hub” while the current Chinese and European factories will re-orient toward regionally-specific EV models.

The EV4 Concept offers an array of recycled and eco-friendly materials for the interior.

Meanwhile, Kia will ramp up EV production in the US and Mexico to cover North and South America respectively, as well as add an electric vehicle plant in India primarily for emerging markets.

Kia Australia will launch the EV9 before the end of 2023, with the EV5 set to arrive over the course of 2024.

The EV3 production car will be revealed in 2024, with production expected for 2025, while the EV5 and EV2 won’t see production until 2025 or later.

Tom White
Senior Journalist
Despite studying ancient history and law at university, it makes sense Tom ended up writing about cars, as he spent the majority of his waking hours finding ways to drive...
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