You’ve probably never heard of the Hybrid Kinetic Group (HKG), a Hong Kong-based company which was established by the former Chairman of Brilliance Auto, a joint-venture company with BMW which produces, distributes and sells the German brand’s vehicles in China. HKG aims to be a producer of clean energy vehicles and systems, with the aim of raising its image as a Hong Kong hi-tech brand.
At the Geneva Motor Show in March, HKG showed the HK GT, a sporty luxury EV with gullwing doors and also announced plans for a limited run of its H2 Speed, a hydrogen fuel-cell electric racing car. This week, at Auto China 2018, the company presents another two new models for the first time – the H500 Sedan and H350 4-seater SUV.
All three cars have been designed by Pininfarina, the Italian studio which was established in 1930 and has been owned by India’s Mahindra Group since 2015. They used advanced developed by HK for the propulsion system, which include battery, electric motors with over 300 kW of power and a range-extender which allows for a claimed range of over 1,000 kms. Performance of the three models is claimed to be a top speed of 250 km/h and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h between 4.5 seconds and 4.7 seconds.
For the H500 Sedan, Pininfarina’s designers have given it elegance and sportiness, pure shapes and sophisticated details. The bodywork is characterized by a sloping rib that crosses the vehicle conferring tension and lightness while the front grille has the ‘face’ of HK.
The K350 luxury SUV has been given vitality and dynamism through its design. The sharp contrast of the black and orange interior, seating with integrated media systems and the rotating dashboard display bring an all-new sensory experience to the driver.
In coming years, the HK product line will grow to have 12 unique range-extended electrically-powered models in a variety of categories, including pick-up trucks. Customers will have the option to select from 3 different range-extender options according to personal preference and fuel availability. These options will be an all-new efficient internal combustion engine, a micro-turbine generator, or a hydrogen fuel cell system.
HKG will utilize modularization and sharing of core components to allow for product diversity and large-scale production which will also help to lower production costs. At the same time, R&D and preparations for manufacturing continue to be ongoing around the world.
Pininfarina’s services providing styling and engineering services to carmakers in China has been ongoing since 1996. In fact, the company was the first Italian studio to provide such services and since then, it has expanded its range of activities to partnerships with manufacturers such as AviChina, Chery, Changfeng, Brilliance, BAIC, and JAC.
In 2010, the company opened an automotive engineering facility in Shanghai to have a team closer and immersed in the China market so as to design and develop products which are better suited to the expectations and tastes of domestic customers.