Kia is known for making budget friendly vehicles. Rimac, on the other hand, manufactures incredible “hypercars” that regularly cost seven figures. Kia has a few hybrid and electric options, including the Niro and the Soul, but most of their lineup runs on gas. Rimac only produces electric vehicles. And they are designed to go fast, not taxi the kids to soccer practice and take the family camping.
So what exactly are the two companies going to do now that they are working together?
Although they seem like mismatched partners on the surface, Kia and Rimac are teaming up to produce an electric mid-engine sports car.
According to Kia’s head of product planning Pablo Martinez Masip, their 2019 concept car, the Imagine, is being further developed. Although it will receive a new nameplate, the few details already available are savory.
According to Autocar.com, the Kia/Rimac mash-up will feature an 800-volt electric architecture for fast charging. That should enable it to charge from 20 percent to 80 percent in just 20 minutes. Their goal is for the still-unnamed sports car to have a range of 300 miles.
Speaking about the 2021 EV, Kia marketing chief Carlos Lahoz said: “This car will have a significant effect on how consumers perceive Kia and its part in future electrification. We want it to demonstrate super-high performance levels but in a package that is different. Today there are lots of A- and B-segment electric cars and many high-end electric cars; we want something different.
“We are not a premium brand, we are a mainstream brand, and we have to be true to that heritage. This car will be a halo and be priced as such, but it will demonstrate that you can get very high performance levels without having to pay the premium prices of, for instance, Tesla, BMW or Mercedes.”
Kia has previously invested in Rimac, so perhaps the marriage isn’t a total shocker. It sounds like the new car will be a compact crossover. The real question is can they compete with the likes of Tesla and the new Mustang Mach-E on price.