Electric Vehicles

Kia is now promising 11 new EVs by 2026; here's what's coming

Kia has plans to bring 11 new models to its lineup by 2026.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

In an Investor Day update, Kia recently updated the status of its Plan S product plan. The gist is that the company's pace for electrification has quickened with the automaker set to deliver 11 new electric vehicles by 2026.

"Kia is being reborn in 2021 with a new logo, new design, and new corporate name," said President Song. "Kia will transform into a brand that excites and inspires customers with innovative mobility experiences."

By 2030, Kia projects that electric vehicles (EVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) will make up 40 percent of all sales. The company is targeting around 1.6 million of these types of vehicles sold annual. Within that figure is the expectation that Kia will grow EV sales to 880,000 units by 2030 and become a "top global seller".

Kia fireworks new logoKia revealed a new logo and slogan while setting a Guinness World Record for fireworks earlier this year.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia expected their RV (recreational vehicle) sales share to rise from 56 percent in 2020 to 65 percent in 2025.

Seven of the new models will be built on the new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) architecture. Four will be based on existing internal combustion engine (ICE) derivatives. Models build on the E-GMP platform are expected to set new benchmarks for all-electric range, driving performance, interior space, and technology, according to the company. They will also function as smart devices, with audio video navigation telematics, over-the-air tech, and feature on demand (FoD) services.

According to the presentation, one of the models will roll out this year and another will come in 2022. Plan on three in 2023, two in 2024, and two or three in 2025-2026.

Kia "CV"

The first dedicated EV Kia will bring to market is codenamed "CV". It will have Highway Driving Assist Level 2 (HDA2) technology. Level 2 technology encompasses advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) technology. ADAS is advanced enough that the vehicle can perform steering and acceleration functions, but requires a driver to monitor the tech at all times and intervene when necessary. General Motors' Super Cruise is just one of the brand name technologies that qualifies for this designation.

Starting in 2023, Kia EVs will be equipped with Highway Driving Pilot (HDP), a step further toward Level 3 development.

The first dedicated EV from Kia, codenamed CV, will be featured with HDA2 (Highway Driving Assist Level 2) technology. Starting in 2023, Kia EVs will be equipped with Highway Driving Pilot (HDP), a crucial autonomous driving Level 3 development.

Further details on the CV will be made public in March 2021.

Purpose-built vehicles

Kia's first purpose-built vehicle (PBV) will be revealed by 2022. The automaker recently announced that it is working on next-generation military vehicles. That development program will replace the Korean military's current 2.5- and 5.0-ton vehicles.

The new vehicles will be created on the company's new PBV platform. Kia plans to cooperate with other companies to develop micro/large board platforms for unmanned delivery and e-commerce sectors. The company will also advance its own highly scalable small board platforms and technologies. Kia is targeting annual sales of 1 million PBV units by 2030.

Mobility services

In the coming years, Kia will expand existing services. In Spain, the company's flagship car-sharing service Wible will be expanded with Wible Más and Wible Empresas (tentatively named). KiaMobility, which was launched in September in Italy and Russia as a pilot program, will soon launch in additional markets in Europe.

Additional mobility initiatives include business-to-government and business-to-business services. This EV-centric program combines the benefits of subscription and car-sharing allowing vehicles to be used for business on weekdays and rented by individuals on the weekends.

The Kia Flex subscription program was introduced in Korea in 2019 and will launch globally later this year under the "Kia Subscription" name. The service will be operated by Sixt Leasing, which was acquired by Hyundai Motor Group last year, and the vehicles will be provided by the company's regional affiliates and dealers.

Trending News

 
 

The CX-50 is surpsingly capable off-road.

Mazda

I have driven all of the Mazda vehicles that have been sold in the US market over the past three decades. On everyday roads and on racetracks. I’ve appreciated their “zoom-zoom”. Good power. Punchy torque just where it was needed. Well-balanced and sporty handling. A bit of growl for the versions that called for it. Plus, tasteful-but-modest styling and more or less elbow room, depending on the model. Mazda’s have been made for sports-car enthusiasts and to ferry families. But, I had never known a Mazda called an “overlander”. Until now.

2023 Mazda CX-50Towing capacity extends to 2,000 pounds.Mazda

The 2023 Mazda CX-50 moves this traction-sophisticated automaker into the lands where the pavement ends and now takes the brand ‘off-track’. Although it’s not a new thing for many of today’s carmakers to add a backcountry model or two to their lineup, it’s new for Mazda. I traveled to Santa Barbara, California to check out this all-new crossover built on Mazda’s seventh-generation small SUV platform that is shared with the smaller CX-30. This 5-passenger utility is longer, lower and wider than the CX-5 that rides on the previous generation’s underpinnings. The CX-50 has been crafted with a roomier second row and more cargo room for the goods and gear that weekend warriors and adventurers want to carry.

The CX-50 comes with a choice of two engines: a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine with cylinder deactivation that gets 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque, and Mazda’s Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter turbo-charged powerplant with 256 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque; both shift through a six-speed automatic transmission. The sport ute can tow up to 2,000 lbs. with the naturally aspirated motor and up to 3,500 lbs. with the turbo-charged mill and Intelligent Drive Select (Mi-Drive) that brings a tow mode as well as Normal, Sport and Off-Road. The newest Mazda model has been made for North America only and is built in Alabama. It is the first Mazda vehicle with auto start/stop that can be deactivated.

2023 Mazda CX-50Mazda is a master of upscale interiors. Mazda

The new crossover starts at $26,800 and comes in S, S Select, S Preferred, S Preferred Plus, S Premium, and S Premium Plus with the base motor. Turb-charged versions come in Turbo, Turbo Premium, and Turbo Premium Plus that tops out at close to $42,000. A long list of technology and safety features are standard or available. Mazda says that Meridian, a fourth turbo trim will arrive soon with even more off-road cred; it will be set up with 18-inch black wheels AT, hood graphics and other backcountry goodies.

When you look at the CX-50, the first thing you’ll notice is exterior styling that speaks to its adventure-ready mission. Muscular bodywork, such as extra cladding, wide fender flairs and larger, more aggressive tires mean that this crossover has been designed not only to give a nod to the looks of a rugged crossover but to provide enhanced traction and a tad more suspension stretch for motoring over uneven terrain and along bumpy dirt roads. Planted on its haunches with functional air vents, it eschews minivan styling with a low and wide footprint that allows owners to have easy access to high-strength roof rails for loading gear on top; the roof has been made stronger than other Mazda crossovers to accommodate heavier loads, such as a roof-top tent. A panoramic moonroof- a first for Mazda- and attractive antiglare hood graphics and are tasteful additions.

The interior is attractive and roomy, with horizontal lines and “cleanable” surfaces as a nod to outdoor endeavors. Our Turbo Premium Plus model had bright orange reverse stitching that popped the cabin that has been crafted with uplevel trims and materials and brought heads-up display. A 7-inch infotainment screen is standard, while the top models get a 10.25-inch version. A wireless charging pad and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all trims. Of note, is the rear power and programmable liftgate to the wide and deep rear cargo compartment, with a load floor that flush with the liftgate opening to help slide heavy items in and out of the back. An available line of cargo accessories makes stowage easier.

2023 Mazda CX-50The CX-50 is family roadtrip ready.Mazda

How did it handle over the 200-plus miles of our ride and drive? The Turbo Premium Plus CX-50 offers a lot like; many of its driving attributes are consistent with Mazda’s tuning and handling priorities across its product line. Traveling along coastal highways, carving mountainous twisties with tight turns and accelerating on flat and straight well-graded pavement, it has great Mazda manners: i.e., there is enough power and torque in the right bandwidth to move it well; precise steering with a slightly heavily-weighted leather-wrapped steering wheel and well-modulated brakes, especially with towing a 3,500-lb. load. We enjoyed using Sport mode for carving corners, as it brings elongated shifts from the six-speed automatic; a crisp response comes when sport shifting in “manual mode” and provides a quick throttle response.

We tried out the Off-Road mode on a course that included flat and uneven dirt roads, as well as hill climb and descent. Although there is no downhill descent control system, the brakes worked well, along with manual gearing. Of note, Mazda would be wide to add downhill descent engineering for steeper and slicker terrain. We were able to test the difference between Normal and Off-Road over a special section of the course with sandy corners and a winding track at a speed of 30 mph showing the improved traction in the Off-Road programming and the aid of Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control that brings a bit of magic to transfer torque to the wheels where it is needed to keep the intended track-think of it like an enhanced traction control program that helps with steering and yaw control.

2023 Mazda CX-50The CX-50 comes with off-road driving modes. Mazda

Other aids for off-road and backcountry travel are: the i-Activ All-Wheel Drive system that is standard equipment on all CX-50s, with a 50/50ish power transfer front to back; 8.6 inches of ground clearance; an 18-degree approach angle and a 24-degree departure angle; and an optional 360-degree camera system.

*EPA reports: base motor fuel economy 24 city/30 highway mpg, while the turbo option gets 23/29 mpg and can run on regular or premium fuel.

Trending News

 
 

New electric SUV

Honda teases its first EV

The Prologue will go on sale as a 2024 model.

Honda

Honda is nearing the unveiling of its first electric vehicle, the Prologue, and today the automaker gave us our first glimps of the new vehicle. It's just a sketch, but Honda did share some production details and information on its product roadmap.

Honda DealerHonda plans to sell half a million EVs by the end of the decade. Honda

Honda says the Prologue will be an adventure-ready SUV "capable of satisfying everyday driving and weekend getaways with a strong hint of the well-received Honda e in the front fascia." The SUV was developed in Honda's Design Studio in Los Angeles, and was designed with an eye on Honda's global EV models. Honda said it focused on aerodynamics and fine-tuning the body to reducelines and improve range.

The Japanese automaker developed the Prologue alongside GM, but it has other EVs coming to market by 2026. By 2030, Honda says it will release 30 new EVs globally with a production volume of two million units. The co-developed vehicle is the first, but the rest will be built on Honda e:Architecture. In 2027, the automaker will begin building and selling a line of affordable EVs using the architecture developed with General Motors. Honda says it plans to sell half a million EVs in North America by the end of hte decade.

Trending News