Kia Working On High-Performance EV With Rimac
An all-electric Kia based on the company’s Imagine concept is being developed with the help of Rimac.
The electric Kia in question is tipped to arrive in the form of a sedan-crossover that slots above the current e-Niro and Soul EV models in the South Korean manufacturer’s arsenal. What promises to make this vehicle particularly interesting is that it will have “super-high performance,” according to Kia marketing chief Carlos Lahoz.
“This car will have a significant effect on how consumers perceive Kia and its part in future electrification,” he told Autocar. “We want it to demonstrate super-high performance levels but in a package that is different. Today there are lots of A- and B-segment electric cars and many high-end electric cars; we want something different.”
“We are not a premium brand, we are a mainstream brand, and we have to be true to that heritage. This car will be a halo and be priced as such, but it will demonstrate that you can get very high performance levels without having to pay the premium prices of, for instance, Tesla, BMW or Mercedes.”
In early 2019, Hyundai and Kia invested roughly $86 million in Rimac to establish a technical partnership between the pair. Initially, this partnership was limited to a new flagship mid-engine sports car from Hyundai N and a future high-performance hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. According to Kia Europe’s chief operating officer Emilio Herrera, Rimac’s know-how will also be used for other products, including the “super-high performance” EV in question.
“Performance became a bit of a dirty word in the late 1980s and the 1990s, but we think electric cars can be fun without guilt,” he said. “Look at Tesla: performance is a key part of what it offers, and we believe our electric cars should do that too. The goal is apply Rimac’s knowhow across our range and give great performance to our cars.”
Underpinning the vehicle will reportedly be a new platform jointly developed with Hyundai for future EVs and Genesis models, Autoblog reports. This architecture will feature an 800-volt electrical system.