Kia recently announced that the first of it’s next-generation Battery Electric Vehicles(BEV) will be revealed in the first quarter of 2021, embodying the brand’s shifting focus towards electrification.
Based on new E-GMP technology, this dedicated BEV will boast a crossover-inspired design, while offering an electric driving range of over 500 kilometres and a high-speed charging time of under 20 minutes. This will also be the first global model to bear Kia’s new logo.
With its growing range of BEVs, Kia is targeting a 6.6 per cent share of the global BEV market by 2025, and global annual sales of 500,000 BEVs by 2026.
Kia will also reveal more information about the new design direction of its future products and services in the weeks ahead, with a new design philosophy which reflects the brand’s transformation.
The development of the new model is in line with Kia’s new business strategy and direction, which will see the brand focusing more on popularising BEVs on a global scale. Kia said that it plans to reinforce its global product line-up with the introduction of seven new dedicated BEVs by the year 2027.
It is said that these new models will include a range of passenger vehicles, SUVs and MPVs across several segments, each incorporating industry-leading technology for long-range driving and high-speed charging from Hyundai Motor Group’s new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP).
Kia is also developing a range of new Purpose-Built Vehicles (PBVs) for corporate customers. These specialised vehicles will be based on flexible ‘skateboard’ platforms, with modular bodies designed to meet the specific mobility needs of a broad range of corporate and fleet customers.
Partnerships with the likes of Canoo and Arrival will mean Kia PBVs can offer different bodies mounted on top of an integrated modular ‘skateboard’ platform, tailored to users’ functional requirements.
This explains exactly why Kia has changed its corporate name from ‘Kia Motors’ to just ‘Kia’, as technology going into its future offerings will revolve around more than just motors and engines.
Under its new brand purpose, Kia also said that it will meet changing customer expectations about how they move, and how their movement impacts the world around them, since consumers are increasingly seeking out flexible, environmentally conscious, and integrated forms of transportation.
Ho Sung Song, President and CEO of Kia Corporation said, “At Kia, we believe that transportation, mobility, and movement represent a human right. Our vision is to create sustainable mobility solutions for consumers, communities, and societies globally. Today we start putting this vision into action with the launch of our new brand purpose and strategy for the future.”
While Kia is in the midst of undergoing a change in distributorship in Malaysia, the brand had also gone through a transformation on a global scale – with the unveiling of a new face, logo, as well as a new slogan declaring the brand’s future direction.
The new logo was unveiled during a record-breaking pyrotechnic display in the skies above Incheon, Korea last week.
The event saw 303 pyrodrones launching hundreds of fireworks in a synchronised artistic display, igniting and celebrating Kia’s new beginning. This set a new Guinness World Record for ‘Most unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) launching fireworks simultaneously’.
According to Kia, the new logo, which features ‘symmetry’, ‘rhythm’ and ‘rising’ elements, embody Kia’s confidence and commitment to customers. The introduction of the new logo also represents Kia’s ambitions to establish a leadership position in the future mobility industry by revamping nearly all facets of its business.
It is also said that the new logo was developed to resemble a handwritten signature. The rhythmical, unbroken line of the logo conveys Kia’s commitment to bringing moments of inspiration, while its symmetry demonstrates confidence. The rising gestures of the logo embody Kia’s rising ambitions for the brand, and more importantly, what it offers customers.
“Kia’s new logo represents the company’s commitment to becoming an icon for change and innovation”, said Ho Sung Song, Kia’s President and CEO.
“The automotive industry is experiencing a period of rapid transformation, and Kia is proactively shaping and adapting to these changes. Our new logo represents our desire to inspire customers as their mobility needs evolve, and for our employees to rise to the challenges we face in a fast-changing industry.”
The launch of the new logo follows the announcement of Kia’s ‘Plan S’ long-term business strategy in 2020. In addition to an all-new logo, Kia also revealed its new global brand slogan, ‘Movement that inspires’.
Under Plan S, Kia, among other objectives, has the ambition to take a leading position in the global car market. This is focused on popularising electric vehicles and introducing a broad range of mobility services, tailored to meet the needs and tastes of individuals and local markets.
That being said, Kia has promised that the new brand purpose and strategy will be presented to the world on the 15th January 2021. So watch this space for more updates on Kia and its future direction and plans.
Kia has launched the Sportage JBL Black Edition for the UK market, featuring some cosmetic enhancements as well as a full JBL audio system setup.
Let us start with the party piece – an eight-speaker JBL premium audio system with a subwoofer, an external amplifier, and a front centre speaker that comes as standard on this special version of the Sportage.
As the name suggests, the Kia Sportage JBL Black Edition is clad in gloss black paint, with a blacked out front grille, grille mesh, front and rear skid plates, headlights, front fog lamps, and gloss black roof rails. In addition, the metallic flashes across the front and down the side sills are now also finished in gloss black.
The Sportage JBL Black Edition also features new darkened Kia emblems front and rear, while the usual silver ‘Sportage’ nameplate – also replaced with gloss black lettering – is now spelled out across the centre of the tailgate.
The 17-inch alloy wheels are finished in black, with darkened Kia logo centre caps and body-coloured door handles replacing the items that are usually finished in chrome.
The limited edition model will be sold exclusively in Phantom Black, a premium metallic colour, while inside the Sportage JBL Black Edition is finished with black leather upholstery with leather-trimmed steering wheel, gearshift and door armrests.
Based on the third generation Sportage, the JBL Black Edition comes standard with a 360-degree Around View Monitor, front and rear Parking Distance Warning sensors, a panoramic sunroof and LED bi-function headlights and LED rear taillights, a Smart Entry System with engine start/stop button, heated front and outer rear seats, and a heated steering wheel.
The infotainment system features Kia’s latest 8.0-inch touchscreen system with UVO Connect ‘Phase II’ telematics and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. The system offers a range of ‘connected car’ features for added convenience, displaying information such as fuel prices and locations of nearby filling stations, the location and real-time availability of parking spaces and live traffic updates.
Driver assistance technologies offered in the Sportage JBL Black Edition include Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), High Beam Assist (HBA), Speed Limit Information Function (SLIF) and Driver Attention Warning (DAW), to combat fatigue and inattentiveness at the wheel.
Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) is also included, along with Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with pedestrian detection. This is in addition to six airbags and ISOFIX Child Seat Top Tethers and Anchor Fixings for the rear outer seats.
Buyers have a choice of two engines in the Sportage JBL Black Edition line-up, with a 174bhp 1.6-litre T-GDi petrol unit offered with a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed DCT automatic transmission.
In addition, Kia’s ‘EcoDynamics+’ 1.6-litre CRDi ‘Smartstream’ mild-hybrid diesel powertrain is also available, developing 134bhp and 320Nm of torque. It too, is available with a choice of manual or dual-clutch automatic transmission, and like its petrol counterpart, has drive sent to the front wheels.
In case you’re wondering if the Sportage JBL Black Edition will come to Malaysia, the answer is definitely ‘no’, as the Kia brand is currently in a limbo in a Malaysia under the Naza Automotive Group which actually made a statement earlier this month saying that it actually wants to let go of Kia.
So, with so much uncertainty revolving around the brand, the last thing we can expect is something like the model we’re looking at here. In fact, we don’t even know if the new Kia Seltos that was supposed to be launched in October, will ever be launched here in Malaysia.
The official distributor of Kia vehicles in Malaysia, Naza Kia Malaysia, is now taking orders for the all-new Kia Seltos at selected Kia showrooms.
The all-new Kia Seltos will be offered in two variants – EX and GT Line – with power coming from a 1.6 litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine producing 123 PS and 151 Nm of torque. Paired to the engine is a six-speed automatic gearbox.
Details are still scarce, but from what we can see, the all-new Kia Seltos gets LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, up to 17-inch wheels, leather upholstery for one variant and fabric for the other, up to 8-inch touch screen infotainment system, 6 airbags, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and much more.
Here to take on the Honda HR-V, Toyota C-HR, Mazda CX-3, and other compact SUVs, the all-new Kia Seltos will be offered with five years manufacturer’s warranty.
That being said, more info on the Kia Seltos will be revealed as we draw closer to the launch that could be happening any moment now.