Who would have thought ten years ago, when Kia’s production was reduced to a low-cost, boring and technically underdeveloped offering, that in 2022 a 100% electric monster with almost 600 hp would emerge at the pinnacle of technology and the concept car -Line? And yet there is this Kia EV6 GT and we went to Sweden to try it.
Big news for the Kia EV6 its range is currently seen clipped at the ends by a new entry-level 170hp, 58kWh battery model that we’ll be sure to try next time, and a flagship GT, which we’ve been promised since the model’s release last year Year.
We recognize this GT first of all for certain aesthetic elements, especially at the level of the front and rear shields, which have been slightly redesigned to be more aggressive. Most striking, however, are the specially large 21-inch rims, which disguise the neon green calipers excessively poorly, making them very Porsche-electrified. We find this color on the inside with small accents, as well as some GT logos, but above all pretty bucket seats upholstered in Alcantara that promise support and comfort.
It’s quite nice so far, but not really enough to get you up at night. Until we take a look at the data sheet. Because here’s a Kia like you’ve never seen before. It does use the e-GMP platform and 800V architecture, but all the sliders have been pushed to 11, as Spın̈al Tap says: Each wheel set is entitled to its motor, the front one has 218 hp like the EV6 4×4 325 hp, the rear, specific, 367 hp, and the combination of the two reaches 585 hp and 740 Nm! Look no further, this is quite simply the most powerful production Kia ever! The 0 to 100 km/h is only a formality, as it is completed in 3.5 s and the acceleration only stops when the 260 km/h is reached. We won’t validate that second number in this test, but we had a chance to verify the first on a practice track. The day before, Kia drove a best time of 3.28 s and we on our side did only slightly worse with 3.32 s.
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But let’s face it: stopwatch-panic electrics, everyone seems to know how to do that these days, and the real challenge comes when you start turning the steering wheel. And there, on paper, Kia has got its homework right on all levels: pilot-controlled suspensions, electronic limited-slip differential, more direct steering and big brakes with 380mm discs up front and 360mm discs at the rear versus 345 on the four corners on the others EV6. And in reality, what is there? Again, the South Korean manufacturer has given us every means to allow us to push the GT’s limits in its last entrenchments, providing us with a race track before we even try it out on the open roads. So the big bathroom directly.
Sport mode activated first, which affects the suspensions, electronic differential, direction, electronic trajectory control and throttle response, so we left on a track that was more like a turnstile in terms of length than width. Characteristics that make a vehicle with such a long wheelbase even more difficult. And yet the EV6 GT pulls it off incredibly, defying the laws of physics with an agility its mass shouldn’t allow for 2,200 reasons. No surprise for the very muscular hairpin exits thanks to the traditional instantaneous torque we’ve become accustomed to by now, but with wide eyes for the ground connections. Although we are used to electric vehicles with a dynamic vocation that are too tight chassis, which offer brutal efficiency in curves, but leave little room for correction in the limit area and are paid for in cash in terms of comfort. . But Kia takes a different approach that, all things considered, is reminiscent of the Alpine School and, more prosaically, the Renault Mégane E-Tech by leaving a few degrees of roll in downforce, which not only has the good taste of informing the driver he can of demand a little more grip from the four Michelin Pilot Sport 4S with a width of 255 and protect the vortices with a calmer driving style. Better still, the DGL and ESP let the rear axle move outwards slightly, giving a tasty little taste of propulsion despite all-wheel drive. The steering may not yet have the purity of the best thermals in the field, but it’s one of the smoothest we’ve tried on an electric. As for generous braking, the track’s profile at relatively low speeds didn’t make us sweat. Let’s end this paragraph with congratulations on the bucket seats, which not only have the good taste to hold their occupant when they squirm, but are also built very low, with a seat that’s flush with the floor.
And the GT mode specific to this version, you rightly ask me? These are hooligans who can only be advised on closed streets. The electronics then offer amazing freedoms that make one wonder if the front engine hasn’t returned to Seoul, as once you’ve got lateral support and ankle stretched to the right, you have to be ready to counter-steer. There remains one final mode, however, which is even more permissive and soberly called “Drift” and which, as the name suggests, lets the rear tires smoke with relative help from the traction control systems, in case you’re nostalgic for the greenhouse gas emissions of thermal cars. Does it really matter? Probably not, but we’re betting it will make some (quick) calls at the Ionity terminals.
Comparison test Kia EV6 vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: brother duel of the Koreans
It’s time then to confront this EV6 GT with reality by driving it on open roads with the need to immediately adapt to the speed limits as Swedish roads are rich in speed cameras. However, they do not have to be exceeded to rediscover a certain dynamic driving pleasure, with calm power, with constant consideration and unflinching behavior even on bad asphalt. Furthermore, and here this EV6 deserves the two extra letters that accompany its name, in comfort mode we find the softness of the EV6, even if the 255 tires purr a little more in the cabin. Comfortable when you want it, agile when you want it, yes, it deserves its GT name. The icing on the cake: you can also tow up to 1,800 kg, or 200 more than the other EV6!
On the autonomy side it is less famous: these performances you have to pay at some point and above all a higher overweight, a good part of this extra mass comes from the 21-inch rims. According to the WLTP cycle, therefore, despite a battery with a generous capacity of 77.4 kWh, we can only cover 424 km on one charge, versus 506 km for a 4×4 with 325 hp in 19 inches! In reality, however, if the idea of practicing eco-driving on a monster of almost 600 hp amuses you, know that this GT knows how to do it and even very well thanks to its paddles on the steering wheel that allow you to do the regeneration can adjust 5 levels. Enough to easily cover 500 km on one charge with a minimum of experience, if we are to believe the on-board computer.
Kia EV6 test: We tested the electric SUV over 2,300 km
But 424 km or not, that’s so bad when you can charge right awayEV6 ? Not really. It takes 7h20 on an 11kW AC source, but in particular 18 minutes to go from 10% to 80% of the load on the fastest DC terminals, since it can collect up to 239kW. Our route took us through an Ionity station where we mostly stopped to take a picture as we were at 50% load but saw 234kW of power at 60% load before the corner finally sagged! Also, a great novelty of the last few weeks that owners are clamoring for: this GT, like everyone else EV6 now has a battery preconditioning system. When a charging station is selected as the destination in the navigation, the battery is preheated in order to arrive at the charging point with an ideal temperature of between 20 and 22 °C. More good news, and it’s information you read first on Automobile Propre: Tesla is in the process of updating its V3 superchargers to finally allow the Korean (and its cousin, the Hyundai Ioniq 5) to connect to sites dedicated to other brands are open.
Let’s end with the pain. Displayed from €72,990, the Kia EV6 GT claims almost €9,000 more than the 4×4 325 GT Line version, which doesn’t seem expensive, paying for 260 extra horsepower, more character and some specific aesthetic elements. On the other hand, at this level of performance, there are some great customers out there, starting with the Tesla Model Y Performance, which sold for €69,990. In addition, and even if it is not a crossover but a sedan, the BMW i4 M50 is sailing in the same financial waters with a price of €73,750. The Korean doesn’t have to be ashamed of one or the other in any area, but still gives food for thought.
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