Hyundai and Kia are promising a host of new models over the next few years, many of them electric. Hyundai has designated Ioniq as its in-house electric vehicle brand, but does that mean all new electric cars from that company will carry the Ioniq badge? Maybe, maybe not. Hyundai did take the wraps of its Ioniq 5 — a battery electric SUV that features design cues from the origins of the company — last week. Since Hyundai and KIA share virtually the same E-GMP platform, it is not surprising that KIA is now teasing its EV6, an upcoming electric SUV of its own.
Meet The KIA EV6
KIA says “EV” will be part of the model name for its electric cars just as Ioniq will be part of the model name for electric cars from Hyundai, according to The Verge. KIA says its first electric vehicle based on the E-GMP chassis will be called the EV6. Not a terribly inspiring name from a marketing point of view, but it is simple and direct. Two teaser images of the new car were released this week. Where the Ioniq is all angles and creases, the EV6 appears much more svelte, with flowing lines from stem to stern. KIA promises a full reveal by the end of the first quarter, which is now only a few weeks away. There is a brief video available as well.
Meet The Hyundai Staria
Hyundai is teasing another new car this week, this one called the Staria (not to be confused with the Mitsubishi Starion from back in the days when disco was king). The minivan may be the most practical vehicle ever invented thanks to its high roof and its nearly vertical rear door allowing virtually unlimited access to the interior. According to Autoblog, the Staria may be an attempt to reinvigorate the minivan market. The styling is certainly attractive enough to turn heads.
Notice the family resemblance between the front of the Staria and the front of the Canoo electric pickup truck announced this week. Hyundai has made a major investment in Canoo and perhaps there is some crosstalk between the design departments for both companies going on.
The Staria will feature a large touchscreen in the center of the dash and individual passenger seats with built in footrests. What is not known yet is whether it is an electric vehicle or powered by a gasoline engine. If the latter, it is still an interesting design exercise. Autoblog describes it as looking like a vehicle that would be right at home at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2121.
Here’s the part that will interest CleanTechnica readers. In an update to its story, Autoblog says there are rumors swirling around that the on-again, off-again collaboration between Apple and Hyundai is back on and the Staria is directly involved in the conversations the two companies are having. If that’s true, the Staria will most definitely be a battery electric vehicle. Rumors are just that and worth exactly what you pay for them, but that doesn’t make them any less intriguing.
Hyundai and KIA get to play an interesting game. They can design virtually the same car but wrap it in different sheetmetal to appeal to a wider spectrum of shoppers. The Hyundai Kona is filled with creases while its sibling, the KIA Niro, is all smooth shapes and flowing lines. Same cars underneath but very different in appearance.
For those who like an exterior filled with angles, the Hyundai is the best option. For those who prefer smooth “bar of soap” shapes, the KIA is the right choice. Both companies build great cars that consistently find their way to the top of the charts for reliability and customer satisfaction. Those are precisely the kinds of cars the EV revolution needs to succeed.