New Crossover

North American version of the 2022 Kia EV6 unveiled in Times Square

The 2022 Kia EV6 made its grand entrance to the North American market tonight.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motor

In March, Automotive Map reported on Kia's brand-new EV6, the automaker's first dedicated battery electric vehicle. During a flashy event held in Times Square last night, Kia officially debuted the vehicle, and announced that the EV6 marks the beginning of its Plan S strategy in the United States. The roadmap will bring 11 all-new, all-electric models to the brand's lineup over the next five years.

If you've been waiting for an innovative new mass-market EV, get ready to make your reservation. In a first for the brand, the EV6 First Edition will be available by advanced reservation starting June 3 at Kia.com. Similar to the approach taken by several automakers with recent releases of desirable new models, Kia will limit the number of First Edition units to just 1,500 and will offer exclusive features for the configuration.

The loaded First Edition will be powered by a dual-motor all-wheel drive system and a 77.4 kWh battery, and will get an augmented reality head-up display, a 14-speaker Meridian stereo, 20-inch wheels, and a remote smart parking system.

Kia Reveal | Live from Times Square www.youtube.com

The E-GMP platform that the EV6 is built on can facilitate the development of sedans, CUVs, and SUVs. Similar to the skateboard platforms used by other brands, E-GMP will allow Kia to swap in various components and body styles without the need to redevelop the underlying architecture each time. The automaker says that the platform also offers the ability to expand wheelbase and track width for different vehicle applications.

That platform also underpins the new Hyundai Ioniq 5, an all-electric crossover that delivers similar power to the EV6 but with different interior and exterior design. Expect the similarly sized models to have different turning when they reach a dealership near you as the two companies, which share common Hyundai Motor Group ownership, work to make them individually appealingly their particular consumer base.

2022 Kia EV6 The head-up display in the Kia EV6 shows speed, safety, and navigation information.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia hasn't divulged pricing or exact release date details yet, but we know that the first EV6 models will hit dealers' lots in early 2022 across the U.S. The high-performance GT model is slated to land in late 2022.

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Research and development

Ford names site for battery development facility

Ford's new facility will house battery research and development.

Ford

Ford is in the news again for its electrification efforts, this time with the confirmation of a Michigan location for a new battery research and development facility in Romulus, Michigan. The facility may eventually help Ford in-source much of its EV supply chain, a shift that could prevent or mitigate the challenges presented by parts and technology shortages.

As part of its electrification initiative, the automaker plans to build a new research and development facility, called Ford Ion Park. The facility will house new tech research, pilot programs for new manufacturing techniques, and will help give Ford more control over its supply chain.


Ford Ion Park Once complete, the facility will initially house 200 engineers.Ford


The price tag for the new facility and related efforts lands at $185 million, which sounds like chump change for a global automaker until we consider that Ford has committed $30 billion to electrification by 2025. The automaker says that its new facility renews its dedication to Michigan as its home base for EV development, a promise it originally made back in 2010. The company's new electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck will be built in Dearborn, which will add 500 jobs. An additional 225 jobs will be retained at Ford's Dyke Electric Powertrain Center.

As part of Phase One of the project, Ford plans to hire 200 engineers within 18 months of the 270,000-square-foot facility's opening. Ironically, the site was previously owned by A123 Systems, a battery manufacturer that closed the facility in 2017 due to low demand for batteries.


Ford Ion Park Ford has committed $185 million to the new facility and related efforts.Ford

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Discontinued sedan

Volkswagen nixing Passat after 2022 model year

Racing Green Metallic is one of four exclusive colors for the car.

Volkswagen

After five decades on sale in the U.S., Volkswagen is pulling the plug on the midsize Passat. The explosion of SUVs' popularity and the need to shift production power to electric vehicles are behind the decision, which will take place after the 2022 model year. The cars have been built at the automaker's Chattanooga, TN plant since 2011, but the facility is being repurposed as VW's North American hub for electric vehicle assembly.

Volkswagen is giving the car one last hurrah, however, in the form of the Passat Limited Edition. The car features 18-inch wheels, LED headlights with an Advanced Front Lighting System, and an easy-open trunk. Inside, the cars come with sport seats wrapped in Vienna leather, memory seating, a Fender Premium Audio System, parking assistance, and parking sensors.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition Each car gets a special model tag with its limited production number.Volkswagen


Only 1,973 of the cars will be built, and it will only be sold in four colors, each with its own limited production numbers that have special meaning for the Passat:

  • Aurora Red Metallic with Titan Black interior: 411 units to represent the original vehicle production code
  • Racing Green Metallic with Mauro Brown interior: 423 units to commemorate the Chattanooga 423 area code
  • Pure white with Mauro Brown interior: 524 units to signify the Chattanooga plant's May 24 opening date
  • Platinum Great Metallic with Titan Black interior: 615 units to signify six generations of imported Passats, one generation assembled in Chattanooga, and five decades of U.S. sales

Pricing for the 2022 Passat starts at $31,290, which includes a $995 destination fee. Adding Aurora Red Metallic drives the price up by an additional $395. Each car will receive a special number plate to designate its place in the limited production run.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition The Passat Limited Edition gets several upscale features. Volkswagen

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