LOS ANGELES — Kia's first dedicated battery-electric vehicle, the EV6 crossover, will come to the U.S. with two battery options when it launches in early 2022. A loaded First Edition model limited to 1,500 copies will also be available.
The global reveal of the EV6 was in late March, but Kia gave more details on the U.S.-bound models late Tuesday. Pricing and details on trim packages are expected closer to the official launch.
The EV6 will go on sale in all 50 states early next year, Kia said, but the performance GT version won't show up until late 2022.
The base powertrain on the EV6 will feature a 58-kilowatt-hour battery with a rear motor that puts out a modest 167 hp. Kia didn't give an estimated range for the base battery.
The next level up for the powertrain is a 77.4-kWh battery with a rear motor that puts out 218 hp. The all-wheel-drive version will have front and rear motors with 313 hp total and a 0 to 60 mph time of 5.1 seconds.
The performance GT version of the compact EV6 will combine the 77.4-kWh battery with more powerful front and rear electric motors for a total of 576 hp and a 0 to 60 mph time of less than 3.5 seconds.
The large gap between battery and motor combinations could allow the EV6 to compete at the low end of the EV crossover market while challenging premium offerings at the high end, such as the Tesla Model Y.
Kia estimates a maximum range of about 300 miles on the EPA cycle for at least one version offered with the bigger battery in the U.S. but noted that EPA certification is not expected until late this year.
One benefit Kia has over most competitors is ultra-fast charging technology on the E-GMP platform it shares with corporate siblings Hyundai and Genesis as part of Hyundai Motor Group.
Kia said that on the fastest public chargers in the U.S., the EV6 can add nearly 70 miles of range in less than five minutes and add up to 210 miles in 18 minutes under ideal conditions. Charging rates vary significantly depending on battery size, state of charge and other factors.
In a first for the Korean brand, Kia will offer a First Edition of the EV6 and will begin taking reservations on June 3.
The EV6 First Edition "includes exterior details such as black wheel arches in a fully loaded package," Kia said.
The special edition will come with awd and the bigger battery pack, along with an "augmented reality head-up display, remote smart parking assist, wide sunroof, 20-inch wheels" and premium stereo, Kia said.
Among the color combinations on the First Edition model are Glacier with dark green seats, Urban Yellow with black seats and Steel Gray Matte with black seats, Kia said.
Separately, Kia said that it is changing its corporate name in the U.S.
"Following the January global reveal of Kia's dynamic new logo and brand relaunch, Kia Motors America is using the North American debut of its transformative electric vehicle, the EV6, to officially adopt the global Kia Plan S strategy and change its corporate name to Kia America," the company said Tuesday.
"The new name is the most visible component of a complete brand transformation and follows Kia Motors Corporation's recent change of name to Kia Corporation."
Under Kia's Plan S, or "Plan Shift," the company is spending $25 billion on broader product offerings as part of a mobility plan that will include delivery vehicles, personal transport vehicles and EVs.
As part of Plan S, Kia said it will launch 11 EVs globally by 2026, starting with the EV6.