Opposites United: a design philosophy for all future Kia vehicles
The Opposites United design philosophy makes its debut on EV6, and will inform the design of all future Kia models. The philosophy is based on five key design pillars: ‘Bold for Nature’, ‘Joy for Reason’, ‘Power to Progress’, ‘Technology for Life’, and ‘Tension for Serenity’.
Bold for Nature is based on interaction with nature, informed by the details, shapes and proportions found both in the natural and human worlds. This design pillar creates organic, yet technical structures and finishes for vehicle interiors; exterior designs are characterised by a combination of clear and simple lines with bold, ever-changing surfaces.
Joy for Reason focuses on the feel and ambience of Kia’s future vehicles. Future designs will fuse the emotional with the rational, creating vehicles that influence the mood of passengers, by relaxing and inspiring. It will also influence the adoption of new organic materials and more daring colours, expressing a sense of youth and playfulness.
Power to Progress builds on the brand’s current design strengths. By drawing on and developing the skills and expertise learned throughout Kia’s recent era of design-led transformation, the designs and layouts of the brand’s future products will continue to evolve. Future designs will draw on experience and creativity to invent and innovate new designs.
Technology for Life embraces new technologies and innovations to foster positive interactions between humans and machines. The brand’s future vehicles will adopt a next-generation in-car user experience (UX) through design and innovation and advancements in lighting, feel and in-car connectivity – to help customers engage with their cars.
Tension for Serenity evokes the tension between opposing forces and creative contrasts, and recognises the design equilibrium that comes from two opposing forces. It delivers striking design concepts that use sharp, highly technical details to create surface tension – and realise a harmonised, future-oriented design vision.
“We want our products to deliver an instinctive and natural experience that improves the daily lives of our customers. Our aim is to design the physical experience of our brand and to create original, inventive, and exciting electric vehicles. The ideas of our designers and the purpose of the brand are becoming more connected than ever, with our customers at the centre of what we do and influencing every decision that we make,” added Karim Habib.
More detail on the ‘Opposites United’ philosophy is revealed in a Kia design manifesto film:
Exterior design: a future-oriented EV design characterised by high-tech details
The exterior design of EV6 is a powerful representation of ‘Power to Progress’. An evolution of the brand’s strengths in design, EV6 is a culmination of skills and expertise collected throughout Kia’s design-led transformation; investigating the future and beyond.
At the front, characteristic daytime running lights display a sleek, modern appearance. They form part of the car’s ‘Digital Tiger Face’, a design progression evoking the spirit of Kia’s ‘Tiger Nose Grille’ for the electrified era. The design of the lamps also includes a ‘sequential’ dynamic light pattern. Below this, a low air intake visually widens the front of the car, accentuating its high-tech image. Part of the optimisation of air flow from the front, the air is channelled through and under the car’s flat floor for optimum aerodynamics.
The side profile displays a crossover-inspired design aesthetic, which is modern, sleek and aerodynamic. This contrasts with sharp lines and high-tech details to create a sense of tension in the design. A swept-back windshield provides dynamism and purpose, while bold rear haunches add volume. A character line runs along the bottom of the doors curving upwards towards the rear wheel arches, visually elongating the profile of the car
Designed in part to realise ultimate aerodynamic performance, the rear displays a sloping rear C-pillar with an integrated black glossy insert which visually widens the window glass. Above this sits a prominent roof spoiler that channels air downwards towards a raised lower spoiler which sits atop the car’s unique rear light cluster.
EV6 is the result of a collaborative effort between all three studios in Kia’s global design network in Namyang (Korea), Frankfurt (Germany), and Irvine (California, US).
Interior design: a modern and spacious interior for the EV era
A distinct product of the EV era, the interior design is liberated by Kia’s dedicated E-GMP platform, which offers increased space compared to previous Kia EVs based on existing model architecture. EV6’s interior design profiles an innovative use of space, creating a unique spatial and driving experience.
One of the most striking elements of the new interior is a seamless high-tech curved high-definition audiovisual and navigation (AVN) screen. The simple form language of the wide curved screen and the slim dashboard give the space an open feel. Extending from the steering wheel across to the centre of the car, it displays an instrument cluster in front of the driver, and infotainment and navigation above the centre console. The width of the screen creates an immersive experience for the driver, while a minimal number of physical buttons offer an uncluttered and soothing driving experience.
Underneath the AVN screen, passengers control HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) settings by using haptic ‘buttons’, while below this panel, the dashboard slopes away towards the front of the car, creating a sense of space and openness for the front-seat passengers.
The seats are slim, lightweight and contemporary, and clad in modern, visually interesting and robust fabrics created using recycled plastics, which create yet greater openness in the cabin.
EV6 will make its world premiere in March 2021, during a special online event.