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Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 surprised us with tall launch pricing earlier this year, starting from $71,900 before on-road costs for the first 400 examples of a single highly-specified grade available with two powertrains.
To be fair to Hyundai, the pricing has the potential to come down with the launch variant being essentially a bells-and-whistles version with a massive 72.6kWh battery pack granting it around 450 or 430 kilometres of range for the rear-drive and all-wheel-drive models respectively.
The brand has many levers to pull to bring down the cost of its next-generation SUV, with smaller battery packs and lower trim grades available overseas.
One thing you shouldn’t expect though is a more affordable version of the EV6, Kia’s take on the Ioniq 5’s e-GMP underpinnings.
Speaking to CarsGuide at the launch of the Sorento PHEV, Kia Australia’s product planning boss Roland Rivero hinted (without giving away the price) that the local positioning of the EV6 could be higher than the Ioniq 5.
“We’ve taken Ioniq 5 pricing on board,” he said. “If you look at markets overseas, let’s just say the EV6 has been positioned higher than the Ioniq 5.”
Like-for-like, versions of the EV6 are more expensive than their Ioniq 5 relations in Europe. Keep in mind Australia only receives the longer-range version of the Ioniq 5 in the initial allocation.
But don’t expect a flood of EV6s to make up for the limited number of Ioniq 5s headed to Australia either, as global issues continue to weigh down the Hyundai Group.
“The supply situation has to be factored in,” Mr Rivero explained. “We’re not going to have anywhere near that level of supply.”
That seems to suggest a much lower initial number of arrivals than the 400 Ioniq 5s available to Hyundai’s Australian arm, and with what the brand describes as an unprecedented level of interest in its first dedicated EV in Australia. Like other electrified Kia models, supply will be prioritised to markets in the EU which have stricter emissions regulations.
The larger battery version of the EV6 does offer more range than the Ioniq 5, with 77+kWh versions offering 528km of range in RWD or 506km of range in AWD.
“We think our car looks better,” Kia Australia managing director Damien Meredith added on the difference between the two.
The brand will not launch with the much-anticipated high-performance GT variant, which looks to offer 430kW/740Nm with all-wheel drive, a 0-100km/h sprint time of just 3.5 seconds, and a 405km range. Production for the flagship variant has been pushed back and will not arrive until late 2022 or early 2023.
Despite offering innovative designs, flexible underpinnings, and 800V architectures, the Kia and Hyundai pair look to face stiff competition in the coming years from an expanded Tesla range, keen newcomers in the form of Polestar and BYD, and an increase in the number of more affordable battery-electric models in the market.