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Kia’s EV Underdog Might Just Be a Grand Slam

South Korean-based automaker Kia has taken pretty much everyone by surprise—including us—with their new EV6 crossover. More aggressive-looking than most of the brand’s previous output, it electrifies on both literal and figurative levels. “Swoopy, edgy, and very much in-your-face,” is how we described it in a previous write-up, calling the vehicle “a perfect example of disruption” that goes head-to-head with luxury models like the Mercedes EQA or the Volvo XC40 Recharge. With Australia’s own EV market surging ahead in full force, we were fortunate to discuss the EV6 as well as the manufacturer’s future vision with Roland Rivero, Kia Australia General Manager of Product Planning.

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Image: KIA

“It’s a good time for us (Kia) to bolster our electrification offerings and that is our objective moving forward.”, said Rivero. “It offers the customers more choice. The EV6 is only the start and that is underpinned by an electric global modular platform. And we hope to bring a few more cars to that platform moving into the future. So there’s definitely room for a lot of growth.”

Meet the EV6

Scheduled to hit dealerships in February 2022, the release of Kia’s sleek new electric crossover helps bring the automaker into a whole new era. Sporty by design and impressively powerful, the EV6 supports 400v and 800v DC charging, offers up to 510 km of maximum range per single charge, and goes from 0-100 km/h in just 3.5 seconds flat. Those familiar with the brand simply don’t expect these kinds of performance specs and yet here they are in all their glory…and that’s just on the standard model. Opt for a higher-end version and you get quicker charging times along with futuristic perks like an augmented reality head-up display.

Key features include the following:

  • curvaceous E-GMP architecture
  • ‘Digital Tiger’ grille
  • sequential light patterns
  • sloping rear C-pillar
  • roomy SUV-style interior with two huge display screens and haptic touch buttons
  • recycled materials/vegan leather upholstery
  • floating centre console
  • portable electricity supply
  • dual-motor electric all-wheel drive
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Image: KIA

Kia Halo Activation Event at the Australian Open

When we called Kia’s new EV6 a “Grand Slam,” we weren’t mincing words. As an official partner of the Australian Open, the automaker rolled out an immersive experience of sci-fi proportions on Grand Slam Oval at this year’s tourney. A world-first, ‘Kia Halo’ brings the new EV6 onto Aussie soil for the first time, perching it upon a vibrant bed of 250 aluminum rods that dances in a wave-like motion. But that’s not the mind-blowing part…

Currently underway, Kia Halo features tennis pros Dylan Alcott and Nick Kyrgios in life-size holographic form. Both of these motion-activated holograms function as hosts, introducing the vehicle and even interacting with guests. At the same time, a custom-produced music track uses neuroscientific pink noise research to generate nature-inspired soundscapes, bringing each listener into a deeper state of mind. The event started Monday 17th January and runs for two weeks.

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Image: KIA

Between the choreographed EV display, holographic tennis legends, and custom soundscapes, Kia Halo provides living proof of the automaker’s futuristic ambitions. We’re all living in crazy new times whilst innovation moves at a breakneck speed across virtually every industry. As this two-week experience and the EV6 itself goes to show, Kia is deftly keeping pace.

As the perception of the brand continues to evolve, Roland Rivero believes activations such as this will only further their mission. “The ‘Kia Halo’ experience at the Australian Open has effectively helped out all the other models too”, said Rivero. “What it’s done is it’s actually made customers look at the upper end of our range and really enriched our mix. Customers are looking at a Kia now and aren’t really looking at just the cheap and cheerful. They’re looking at the variant where they believe it actually offers the best value for money.”

The Kia Halo activation and a collection of Kia’s EV6 vehicles will be on display on Grand Slam Oval at the Australian Open from Monday 17th January for two weeks. The Kia EV6 will be available in Australia from February 2022.

Check it out

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