Preview: 2022 Kia EV6 is Korean brand's first dedicated EV

Kia on Monday released the first photos of a new electric crossover dubbed the EV6. Previously code-named CV, the vehicle is Kia's version of the recently revealed Hyundai Ioniq 5 and right now neither is confirmed for sale in the United States.

The EV6 is Kia's first vehicle based on a platform designed specifically for battery-electric power, in contrast to the automaker's existing electric vehicles like the Soul and Niro EVs which are based on platforms originally designed for internal-combustion power.

The platform is Hyundai Motor Group's new E-GMP design. It made its debut in the Ioniq 5 and will also shortly appear in a Genesis crossover expected to be called an eGV60, or something along those lines.

All vehicles based on the E-GMP platform will have well over 200 miles of range and the ability to charge up to 80% in less than 20 minutes thanks to 800-volt hardware. In the Ioniq 5, there are 58- and 77.4-kilowatt-hour battery options, as well as the choice of rear- or all-wheel drive. The all-wheel-drive system consists of a dual-motor setup good for 302 hp and 446 lb-ft of torque.

Kia is quiet on specs for the EV6 but we should expect similar numbers to the Hyundai.

Another similarity with the Hyundai is a funky exterior design. The EV6 was previewed by 2019's Imagine by Kia concept, which at its debut was described as a commuter car that combines elements of a crossover, a sedan and even a sporty coupe. That's generally what we see in the EV6. Kia said the vehicle was designed by a new philosophy called Opposites United, which combines contrasting elements like sharp lines with smooth, sculptured surfaces.

The interior also features an avantgarde design. There's a clean layout combined with textured surfaces and a mix of physical controls and screens. One of the standout elements is the curved display that combines the instrument cluster and infotainment hub. Underneath the screen you'll find the climate settings which are also controlled via a screen, unfortunately.

Kia plans to have 11 EVs in its lineup by the end of 2026, and seven of these will be based on the E-GMP platform. The remainder will likely be based on modified platforms originally designed for internal-combustion power. For its dedicated EVs, Kia will using the naming strategy where the prefix “EV” is joined by a number representing the vehicle's positioning in the lineup. The EV6 is the first to use the new naming strategy.

Kia will reveal more details on the EV6 toward the end of March. If given the green light for the U.S., expect the vehicle to land at dealerships as a 2022 model.