Such a Tease

Kia EV6, company's first dedicated EV, teased ahead of early 2021 debut

The Kia EV6 will soon debut.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia has a lot of different vehicles in its lineup - cars, crossovers, a sports car, hybrids, a minivan that doesn't want to be called a minivan, two-row SUVs, PHEVs, and three-row SUVs. All it's really missing is dedicated electric vehicle.

Hyundai gets the Ioniq. Kia gets the EV. It's part of a new naming strategy specifically for Kia's battery electric vehicles (BEVs) that follows a rebranding effort by the company, which has been met with mixed reviews. Kia recently has taken steps to give its products the same name globally. These efforts lead to the Optima, Sedona, and Cadenza names being retired in favor of the K5, Carnival, and K8.

2022 Kia EV6

2022 Kia EV6

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

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Each vehicle will have a corresponding number, denoting where it fits into the Kia lineup. For example, the EV6 would fit below the EV8 and above the EV4. It's a method similar to how Audi and BMW do business.

The Kia EV6 will be the company's first dedicated electric vehicle and it will be built on the company's Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). That's the same platform that underpins Hyundai's Ioniq lineup.

"EV6 is the embodiment of both our brand purpose, 'Movement that inspires', and our new design philosophy. It has been designed to inspire every journey by offering an instinctive and natural experience that improves the daily lives of our customers, and provide user ownership that is simple, intuitive and integrated," said Karim Habib, Senior Vice President and Head of Kia Global Design Center. "Our aim is to design the physical experience of our brand and to create bold, original and inventive electric vehicles."

It's likely, given the images and what we know about the Ioniq 5, that the EV6 two will have a similar crossover-like body style. Certainly the pixelated taillight technology in the Ioniq 5 have come to roost in the EV6. Look for other parts pooling as well. This likely results in the models having the same battery and similar range.

The Kia EV6 will make its world premiere during the first quarter of 2021.

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New performance sedan

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 on the way with F1 tech

The new C 43 gets engine tech straight from Formula 1.

Mercedes-AMG

It's about time we started considering Mercedes-AMG's 43-level cars in some of the same conversations that include the 53- and 63-level monsters. Today, Mercedes-AMG announced the 2023 C 43 Sedan. But even though it's the "entry-level" C-Class performance car, AMG gave it some serious upgrades, including standard rear-wheel steering, a mild-hybrid system, and plenty of power.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 SedanRear-wheel steering is standard, as is adaptive suspension. Mercedes-AMG

The new turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 402 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque - up from last year's 385 ponies. It's paired with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and rear-biased all-wheel drive. Mercedes says the powertrain is strong enough to propel the C43 to 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.6 seconds.

The four-cylinder is the first production engine with an electric exhaust-gas turbocharger. The tech came directly from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team, who won the 2021 Constructor's Championship. Where traditional turbochargers have to build boost over a short period of time, an electric motor spins the turbo to start before allowing the exhaust gases to take over. The system is driven by the car's 48-volt mild-hybrid system and should reduce turbo lag and improve responsiveness.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 SedanThe car's electric turbocharger is a first in a production car. Mercedes-AMG

Five driving modes are available, including Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport +, and Individual. The drive modes alter throttle and steering response, transmission shift points, exhaust sound, and settings for the adaptive dampers. Shockingly, the car comes standard with rear-wheel steering with an angle of up to 2.5 degrees. The system works at speeds of up to 37 mph, and can drastically reduce the C 43's turning radius while improving turn-in and handling.

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The 2023 Sportage Hybrid starts at around $28,000.

Kia

Kia's moving full steam ahead to an all-electric future, but the automaker's intermediate models should not be overlooked. Kia and Hyundai do hybrids as well as anyone, and the 2023 Sportage Hybrid is coming soon with new tech, updated styling, and a value-forward price. The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid goes on sale in spring.

2023 Kia Sportage HybridThe Sportage Hybrid delivers up to 39 mpg.Kia

Kia offers the Sportage hybrid in three trims: The $28,505 LX, $32,205 EX, and $37,405 SX-Prestige. All models come with a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine and a 44kW electric motor that combine to produce 226 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission with a rotary shifter is standard, and all-wheel drive become standard at the EX trim. The powertrain is efficient for an SUV, delivering up to 39 mpg when paired with front-wheel drive.

Kia says the Sportage Hybrid's interior features a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster for almost 25 inches of display. Standard tech is generous, and includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There's also plenty of safety tech. Kia adds standard gear that includes:

  • Driver attention warning system
  • LED headlights
  • Lane following assist and lane keep assist
  • Forward collision warnings with cyclist detection
  • Rear occupant alerts
  • Rearview monitor
  • Reverse parking distance warnings
Several optional features are available, including blind spot warnings, forward parking distance warnings, navigation-based cruise control, and more.

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