Saturday, May 21, 2022

Kia Plans Small Electric SUV For India – Sonet EV To Rival Nexon EV?

Kia is expected to launch its premium electric crossover- EV6 in India later this year, it has already been spotted testing on Indian roads

Kia Sonet Electric Launch
Kia Sonet Modified By Bozz Concepts – Render for reference

Kia has seen tremendous success within a limited span in this country. Within three years, it has broken into top five carmakers in India. While the South Korean brand has already laid out groundwork for its first pure electric offering in the country, it also wants to enter the entry-level EV space in future with a small electric SUV.

As per latest reports, development work for a small electric SUV codenamed AY has been started by Kia. This SUV is likely to be built exclusively in India for the company’s international markets and could hit roads by 2025. The report further mentions that this model will not be based on a pure EV platform.

Kia Entry-Level Electric SUV – Sonet EV?

Instead, it will be underpinned by a flexible platform that will also offer Kia a space in the mass market entry-level petrol SUV segment. Kia already retails an entry-level SUV in the form of Sonet but the brand wants to solidify its position in this space with multiple new products.

The Korean car major will enter the EV space in India with EV6 later this year. The fully electric crossover made its global debut in March last year and has already been spotted testing on Indian roads on a couple of occasions. It is based on the new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) that also underpins the new Hyundai Ioniq 5. The latter is also slated for a launch in India later this year.

Kia EV6 GT Electric Car
Kia EV6 GT Electric Car in India. Image – Automobili Ardent

With two new EVs offered at both ends of the spectrum, Kia will be able to cater to a wider segment of buyers looking for a battery-powered SUV. However, there are no specific details regarding the entry-level SUV yet and it will take some time before any notable development is made in this regard.

Late last year, Kia’s cousin Hyundai India had also announced to launch an entry level SUV. Just like Kia, Hyundai too had not revealed details, but they did say that it will be a small electric SUV. Considering the huge demand for Nexon EV, it is possible that Hyundai and Kia could be working on electrifying Venue and Sonet for India.

Kia EV6- Powertrain Specs

Coming back to EV6, internationally it is offered in two variants- GT Line and GT, available in 2WD as well as all-wheel-drive configurations. Further, Kia will be offering two battery pack options in both variants of the upcoming electric crossover– 58 kWh for standard range and 77.4 kWh for long range. The base GT Line trim with the smaller battery pack offers 170 bhp in RWD format and 235 bhp in AWD layout.

When paired with the larger battery pack, GT Line trim produces 229 bhp in a single-motor (RWD) setup and 325 bhp in a dual-motor (AWD) setup. While the rear-wheel-drive variant has a 0-100kmph acceleration time of 6.2 seconds, AWD variant of EV6 GT Line can attain this in 5.2 seconds. On the other hand, the top-spec GT trim is only offered with a dual-motor setup paired exclusively with a 77.4 kWh battery.

Powertrain in EV6 GT returns a peak output of 576 bhp and 740 Nm of torque. This enables a 0-100kmph sprint in just 3.5 seconds with a top speed capped at 260 kmph. Kia will be offering EV6 as a fully imported CBU model in India which is expected to be available in its fully loaded GT trim.

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