We’ve carried a fair bit of Kia EV6 content lately, such as the design preview, but there’s a good reason for that; it’s an important car for the EV market. Kia’s current crop of EVs are among the best for everyday usability, so there’s a lot riding on its next-generation vehicles. Thankfully, the Kia EV6 would seem to deliver on all fronts – on paper at least.
Given that we’ve covered the distinctive and attractive crossover design of the EV6 in some detail already, we’ll crack straight on with the juicy powertrain and technology details.
Kia is offering the EV6 in a variety of forms, including both two- and all-wheel drive, standard and long range, and with five different power outputs. GT-line cars are available in both standard and long-range form, whilst the top of the tree Kia EV6 GT comes exclusively with the long-range battery.
At the bottom of the model list is the GT6 standard range in two-wheel drive form. This means a 58kWh battery powering a 168bhp, 258lb-ft motor which drives the rear wheels. Kia hasn’t given us the driving range of the 58kWh cars yet, but we’d guestimate at comfortably over 200 miles. The all-wheel drive standard range car gets 232bhp and 446lb-ft enabling it to hit 62mph in just 6.2 seconds.
Step it up to the long range, 77.4kWh battery and again, both two and all-wheel drive options are available. In two-wheel drive, long-range form, the EV6 gets 225bhp and 258lb-ft and the longest range of any of the variants at 316 miles on the WLTP test. The all-wheel drive, long-range variant gets a stout 320bhp and 446lb-ft, enabling it to hit 62 in just 5.2 seconds.
At the top of the pile, and a bit of a welcome surprise, is the Kia EV6 GT. This come with 577bhp and 546lb-ft and will beat a Porsche Taycan 4S to 62, covering the sprint in 3.5 seconds. It’ll even crack on to 161mph which is a lot in any car, let alone an electric Kia. Thankfully it’s not just a straight-line hooligan; Kia has fitted an electronic limited-slip diff to help with handling and power delivery.
One of the E-GMP platform’s party pieces, as seen in the Hyundai IONIQ 5, is the ability to work at both 400 and 800 volts, ensuring optimum charging performance at extremely high inputs. In the case of the Kia EV6, it can be charged from 10 to 80 per cent in just 18 minutes – which is very, very fast. On the two-wheel drive long-range car, 62 miles is added in just four-and-a-half minutes.
As well as gaining charge very quickly, the EV6 has a vehicle to load function (V2L) whereby it can supply standard wall socket levels of power at up to 3.6kW. It is actually possible to charge another EV if needs be.
Kia has a habit of making cars that are packed with all the tech you need as standard, as well as pragmatic use of space. We expect no different from the EV6, and its 2.9 metre wheelbase should mean passenger space is generous. Boot space amounts to 520 litres with the seats up and 1300 litres with them folded. A frunk offers 52 litres on two-wheel drive versions and 20 litres on all-wheel drive models.
The cockpit area is defined by dual 12 inch screens including a curved infotainment screen and a digital instrument display which flow neatly into one another. An augmented reality head-up display is available and projects driving information into the driver’s line of sight such as navigation and safety info. Also there to aid the driver is active sound design, which gives audible feedback of the car’s speed. This uses the on-board sound system which, where specified, is a 14-speaker Meridian surround audio system.
A suite of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) offers what Kia states is class-leading levels of safety. This includes safe exit assist, lane following assist and highway driving assist 2, the latter two of which offer a level of hands-on autonomy on the highway. Remote smart parking assist means the EV6 can park itself, or exit a space without even being inside the vehicle.
Kia has confirmed that the EV6 will start from £40,895 in its standard-range, two-wheel drive form. Prices rise to £43,895 for the GT-line and £58,295 for the high-powered GT version. Production starts later in the year and deliveries will commence in the UK in October, with the GT following in early 2022. Prospective buyers can pre-book an ordering slot for £100 – so it’s safe to say that Kia is expecting demand to be high!
We’re really looking forward to driving the EV6 and bringing you our impressions.