Kia’s EV6 may not have the most evocative name in the car business, but the new electric SUV will be smoking hot.
As the first Kia built on the Hyundai Motor Group’s brand new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), it will offer blazing-fast performance and charging capability to match.
Unlike its cousin, the Hyundai Ioniq, which is being built on the same platform and with many of the same drivetrain elements, the EV6 will have a sporty AWD GT version that Kia says will sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds. This power is achieved with 430-kW dual motors and electronic limited slip differential software. The EV6 is planned to have a top speed of 260 km/h.
The company claims it will be among the quickest EVs on the market and set the compact SUV up against the world’s fastest supercars in a 400-metre drag race to prove it. While it didn’t win, the resulting YouTube video is entertaining.
Of course, once you’ve finished out-sprinting a Porsche 911, you might need to charge the EV6. That exercise, assuming you can find a fast charger, will give you 100 km of range in only 4.5 minutes – about the same amount of time the 911 will need to get gas. It will also charge to 80 per cent in 18 minutes. Kia claims it very deliberately set out to make the EV6 the fastest-charging EV in the world.
The SUV will also have a maximum range of 510 kilometres for models with the long-range 77.4-kWh battery and the standard rear-wheel drive. The GT model only comes with the long-range battery, and with its amped-up performance will take you 405 km on a charge, which Kiseok Ahn, the company’s global head of product planning, said illustrates a compromise between range and performance. He added that in regular day-to-day life, the normal commuter will not have to worry about charging.
The EV6 is capable of a high-speed charge from 10 to 80 per cent in just 18 minutes on all variations and also boasts vehicle-to-load (V2L) capability, which turns it into a big, mobile battery that can supply 3.6 kW in the event of a power failure at home. It can also charge another EV if necessary.
Kia is marketing the vehicle as an adventure-ready SUV, with towing capacity of 1,600 kg as long as the battery remains above 35 per cent. Its ability to act as a power supply means it can provide heat, light and entertainment when out and about.
There will be three model lines: the high-performance GT, the GT-line and base EV6. It is Kia’s first electric vehicle to be available with two-wheel (rear) or AWD options.
Beyond its exciting EV power and charging capabilities, the EV6 boasts an innovative, futuristic design. It greets the world with a long, low snout laden with vestigial intakes in the front fascia that are reminiscent of a 1950s-style loudspeaker. The body is low, sleek and somewhat wedge-shaped, with a greenhouse that is compressed at the rear. This results in a very flat hatch window and a ducktail-style rear end.
In fact, beyond just beating a 911 off the line, the EV6 looks as though it may have borrowed that ducktail and the lines of its hood from various iterations of the German manufacturer’s iconic sports car. Fortunately, if it is indeed a nod to Porsche design cues, it comes off as a subtle homage, not an ugly ripoff. The EV6 is striking and deserves the “EVSexy” moniker.
Kia claims that despite the compact exterior, the interior will be spacious thanks to the flat floor afforded by the new platform’s battery-pack placement and the long wheelbase. Although the hatch and rear seats remain a mystery to be unwrapped when the car arrives at Canadian dealerships (details are not yet available, but they land in the U.S. market in early 2022), the front cabin of the GT model is appointed with sport seats and currently on-trend contrasting stitching. The main display is a seamless, curved screen that extends from the driver’s left hand across to the middle of the dash.
Practically, the EV6 looks set to be able to handle the demands of a small family and regular commuter life. It has 520 litres of trunk space with the second-row seats in place and 1,300 litres when they are folded. The SUV also has a front trunk, which provides 52 litres of stowage space for 2WD models and 20 litres for AWD models.
It will be well equipped, with Level 2 autonomy for highway driving along with numerous safety features.
When the EV6 arrives in Canada, it will be interesting to see how its price lines up against the Hyundai Ioniq. The two vehicles are very similar in specifications, although the EV6 boasts slightly better range with the bigger battery pack.
Where they differ dramatically is in curb appeal and performance. While the Ioniq looks like it was designed with an Etch A Sketch, the sexy EV6 is sleek, curvy and will be quick enough to leave its cousin eating electron dust.