Kia Australia’s long-standing partnership with the Australian Open tennis Grand Slam will continue in January, with the Korean brand hoping to use it as a platform for its first dedicated electric vehicle.
Dean Norbiato, general manager for marketing at Kia Australia, described the tournament as “a really important launch platform for us that springboards us into the year”.
“2022 will be no different. We expect it to be one of, if not our biggest Australian Opens with two really important products – the new Sportage and EV6.”
“We’re still working really hard with Kia HQ about getting as many EV6s onto the AO fleet as possible as well. Global has a big push for sustainability and the AO is the perfect tool to tout our sustainability credentials,” Mr Norbiato continued.
“We’ll be working very closely with [Kia HQ] and expect in the coming years, to have more and more of that fleet electrified at the Australian Open.”
Mr Norbiato wouldn’t elaborate further about whether other electrified Kia products will be on the AO22 player fleet, such as the Niro Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid and EV, or the recently-launched Sorento Plug-in Hybrid.
Usually, the AO fleet comprises the Carnival and Sorento, with models like the Seltos, Sportage and Stinger filling gaps.
Whether a debut at the Australian Open in January means customer deliveries of the new EV6 will commence around the same time isn’t so clear.
Genera manager for product planning, Roland Rivero, said: “We’ve agreed with HQ that a number of EV6s will be built in the month of December, some of which will arrive in the early part of next year”.
“However, the quantity is probably something we still need to explore further with HQ.”
“In terms of customers that’s still a bit of a question mark at this stage because we are launching pretty much at the same time as the rest of the world and there’s only one factory building for the rest of the world,” Mr Rivero added.
As recently reported by CarExpert, the Kia EV6 will arrive in Australia during the first half of 2022 with standard and GT-Line versions kicking off the local launch.
Both rear- and all-wheel drive versions are expected to be offered, with single- and dual-motor setups respectively. Kia Australia is likely to prioritise the 77.4kWh long-range battery pack, which offers around 520km and 505km in RWD and AWD guises respectively.
Global specifications indicate the single-motor EV6 will accelerate from 0-100 in 7.3 seconds, with the EV6 AWD reducing that to a sprightly 5.2 seconds.
Then, either very late in 2022 or early in 2023 the Kia EV6 GT will arrive, packing a supercar-rivalling 430kW and 740Nm, good for a 3.5-second dash to triple figures.
As for pricing, Kia is yet to confirm even indicative figures. However, we do know the related Hyundai Ioniq 5 – which arrives this month – is launching from $71,900 for the 2WD and $75,900 in AWD guise, both with the larger 72.6kWh battery. Further variants will be introduced down the track.
Further Australian details will be disclosed closer to launch, which could be as early as January if the local arm’s request for the Australian Open (17-30 January 2022) comes through.
Stay tuned to CarExpert for the all the latest.
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