The new machine is the third model in Kia’s bespoke E-GMP line-up to be revealed. It was first shown at the Chengdu motor show in April, when it was described as a car designed for China. But Kia has now confirmed that it will also be sold globally – including the UK.
The EV5 will arrive after the production version of the smaller Kia EV3 and will sit between that and the flagship Kia EV9 in Kia’s line-up of electric SUVs. It shares a number of design cues with those models, but features its own interpretation of Kia’s ‘Tiger face’ grille and has its wheels pushed to the corners to maximise interior space.
The new SUV will use a modified version of the Hyundai Motor Group’s modular E-GMP platform, which underpins all of Kia’s bespoke EV models. Unlike the 800V system used on the Kia EV6 and EV9, the EV5 will use a 400V architecture, which will reduce costs but mean it won’t be able to charge as quickly.
While Chinese market cars will be produced in that country, machines for the rest of the world will be produced in Korea – and there will be significant technical differences between them in terms of battery size and chemistry.
The China models will be offered with 64kWh and 88kWh batteries, while Korean-built versions will feature a choice of 58kWh and 81kWh units. Kia says single- and twin-motor versions will be offered, with the Standard and Long Range models using a 215bhp front-mounted motor. The Long Range AWD model will gain an extra 94bhp rear motor, which will result in a total system output of up to 302bhp.
Kia will also offer a hot EV5 GT eventually, although no technical details of that have been released yet.
The range “will be tailored to meet market demands”, Kia says. For context, the China-only models will offer between 330 and 403 miles of range on that country’s official test cycle. Kia says the AWD China version will be capable of accepting a charge from 30-80% in just 27 minutes, suggesting a charging speed of around 125kW.