Kia’s on an absolute electric vehicle tear right now, debuting new models left, right and center. We’ve already seen the EV6 wagon-ish thing, the EV9 three-row crossover, the EV5 compact crossover, and the Niro EV small crossover either in production form or already on sale, and early signs of this shift are promising. However, do you notice anything conspicuously absent? That’s right, Kia doesn’t yet have an electric sedan, but if the EV4 Concept is any indication, one should be just around the corner. Likewise, the EV3 Concept illustrates the next entry point in the electric Kia lineup. So, shall we take a deeper look?
In Kia’s EV range, the smaller the number, the smaller the car. After all, the EV9 is an enormous three-row crossover while the EV5 is sized like a RAV4. The size of the EV4 is less intriguing than its styling:
The EV4 Concept looks like someone tossed an EV6, an EV9 and a K5 in a Blendtec and set it to puree. Combining the forward-swept greenhouse of a current midsize sedan with sleek EV6-like surfacing and blocky, vertical lighting doesn’t sound like something that should work, and yet, it comes together in an oddly intriguing way. From a profile view, the EV4 concept has a short front end and an abundance of derrière, but despite this, there’s something strangely compelling about this strange electric sedan.
Inside the EV4 Concept, natural-dyed cotton, woven fabric, and a console made of hemp fibers should keep the magic crystal crowd happy while providing interesting texturing for the rest of us. How about those mesh headrests reminiscent of a Herman Miller Aeron?
What’s more, the EV4 deviates from the concept car norm by providing concessions to real world usability. There are no awful camera mirrors here, nor the conspicuous absence of an interior rearview mirror. There are plenty of cutlines for bumpers and trim pieces, and hey, are those regulator-satiating retroreflectors in the rear bumper? If the EV5 and EV9 are any indication, don’t be surprised if this exterior styling makes it through to production virtually unchanged.
What if a sedan isn’t your cup of tea? What if you want your driving experience to include mushrooms? Well, Kia also pulled the wraps off the EV3 Concept, and this thing’s gunning for the sensible entry level of the electric car market. Like the EV4 Concept, the EV3 Concept looks surprisingly production-like, except it’s about the size of a Kia Seltos, which would make a production version a subcompact crossover that should appeal to a more budget-constrained audience than say, the EV5.
Like the EV5 and the EV9, the EV3 has an upright, boxy styling language, although it distinguishes itself with little flourishes. The slim black C-pillar inlay is very Volvo, and the lack of a rear quarter window gives the design an extra dose of minimalism and solidity. Overall, this is an extremely appealing small crossover, even if the flight-of-fancy interior will never make production.
Like the EV4 Concept, Kia’s gone all green on the interior of the EV3 Concept. But instead of hemp fibers, the center console in this little crossover is made of mycelium, a root-like fungi structure commonly eaten by dirt-dwelling invertebrates. The result is a center console that cannot be killed in any way that matters, for fungi is decay as a form of life. On a less philosophical note, I’m digging the knit textiles on the seats, and hope Kia’s bold enough to put a green interior colorway into production.
In any case, Kia hasn’t been the sort of manufacturer to debut concept cars all willy-nilly, so there’s a good chance that both the EV3 Concept and the EV4 Concept could see production at some point. In the EV onslaught, the only way forward is down, and a future with more entry-level EVs is far more exciting than another six-figure battery-powered luxobarge.
(Photo credits: Kia)
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