Hyundai and Kia prepare subcompact EV crossover for city car segment

·2 min read

Sister companies Hyundai and Kia plan to release over half a dozen electric cars in the coming years. Most haven't been detailed yet, but one will reportedly take the form of a tiny crossover developed for crowded urban centers.

Citing supplier sources, British magazine Auto Express wrote that the pocket-sized EV will enter production about halfway through 2023. The model will stretch between 137 and 145 inches long, meaning its footprint will be about as big as the Chevrolet Spark's, and some of its powertrain components will be provided by BorgWarner.

One of the BorgWarner bits will be what Auto Express refers to as an integrated drive module that combines the electric motor and its transmission into a single unit. It's a solution that saves space — which is key when developing such a small car — and reduces complexity. The module is a turn-key unit that can deliver up to 181 horsepower, though we'd be pleasantly shocked if Hyundai doesn't reduce that figure. Maximum driving range will reportedly check in at approximately 200 miles thanks in part to a 40-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.

Earlier in 2021, Kia previewed some of the electric cars in its pipeline. One (pictured) was Soul-like and described as "a fun and practical commuter." In hindsight, the South Korean firm could have been previewing the small EV.

One of the points that remains to be seen is how the EV will be marketed. Whether it will be sold as a Kia, as a Hyundai, or both isn't known; it could even slot into the Ioniq sub-brand. It will also be interesting to see where the model falls in the pricing spectrum. As of writing, the roughly 145-inch-long Hyundai i10 carries a base price of 12,090 euros (around $14,200) in France, while the comparably-sized Kia Picanto costs 11,790 euros (about $13,900).

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