Power: 585 hp
Kia has gone in another direction. The Korean brand, once considered foreign in our continent, has managed to find a place for itself in just a decade among the gratin of car manufacturers. The company has anticipated a shift to electrification for a range that includes stars such as the Niro, Sportage and the new EV6, crowned 2022 car of the year.
France, the second European market for the electric Crossover, will welcome the GT version from the beginning of next year, a technical sheet that is quite typical for Kia. Judge for yourself: two permanent magnet synchronous motors for a total of 585 hp, maximum torque of 740 Nm, maximum speed raised to 260 km / h and 0 to 100 km / h achieved in 3.5 s.
Sold for €72,990, the Kia EV6 GT has two electric motors for a total power of 585 hp distributed to 4 wheels. 0 to 100 km / h is achieved in 3.5 s and the top speed reaches 260 km / h.
These performances are close to or equal to the best current electric sports cars, namely the Porsche Taycan Turbo, the Audi RS E-Tron GT or even the BMW i4 M50. Only the Tesla Model S Plaid and its over 1,000 hp are currently running in another galaxy. Undoubtedly, electric technology is changing the cards of sports cars.
The Kia EV6 GT, as its name suggests, is a real GT and not a sports car cut for the track. This mode can be seen at first by the unchanged appearance compared to the standard EV6. Only the front and rear bumpers are slightly modified, the rims are 21” and the green brake calipers show its new origin.
On board, it’s the same thing, a few green details come to wear a technological, quality and well-finished environment. The EV6 GT, priced at €72,990, is based on the top-end GT-Line range which has the manufacturer’s best equipment list and upgrades it with bucket seats, a sunroof and adjustable suspension as standard. Only the heat pump is billed as an option (€1,200). Attractive price compared to Porsche Taycan Turbo and Audi RS E-Tron GT sold around €130,000, but compared to Tesla Model Y Performance (€69,990) and BMW i4 M Performance (€73,750), the Korean will have to eat. board to convince them.
The main modifications of this GT concern the engine and the drivetrain. Korean engineers targeted the rear engine by adding a second inverter that increased the power output from the battery. The function of the inverter is to convert direct current from the battery to alternating current for electric motors. The power of the rear engine thus rises to 367 hp. It is completed by a 218 hp electric motor mounted on the front axle. The package produces a total output of 585 hp, making it the most powerful Kia ever produced.
All this power is sent immediately to the wheels with a simple press of the green “GT” button on the steering wheel. We could see this change in stature first on the circuit with a standing start. Despite the huge curb weight (2,260 kg), the acceleration is so violent and instantaneous that it causes the car to lift slightly at the same time as your cervical muscles. Cruelty to the level, however, we remain a notch below the “Performance” of Tesla. We haven’t had the chance to check if the thrust continues up to 260 km/h. In general, in an electric car the power curve slides at a high speed. It is here that the Taycan marks its difference thanks to its gearbox (2 speeds) which makes it possible to support better performance at high speeds.
Another axis of evolution for this GT concerns the running gear. Engineers have configured the suspension’s firmness to be controlled differently depending on the driving conditions. So in GT mode it is about 30% firmer compared to Sport mode, which makes it possible to compensate better for wheelie in acceleration and diving in stopping. Finally, the brakes provided by larger diameter discs than the standard version have been added. To top it off, Kia has implemented the latest version of the electric limited-slip differential, which sends power to each wheel.
Admittedly, due to the weight and large wheelbase of the EV6 (2.90 m), we had doubts about its performance on the circuit. Obviously, the EV6 GT is not a car designed for the track, but on this track it really surprised us. GT mode is engaged, all electronic systems begin to defy the laws of gravity as much as possible. Well steered by the optional front axle, the Korean carves the road with power, compensates for the range well in handling and comes out quite powerfully when exiting a curve. It is amazing to see such a “machine” doing like this on the circuit and calm on the open road where the traction is excellent. Obviously, when the speed accelerates the nature takes over and the slope is more felt in the curves.
Kia has allowed itself to go a little crazy by adding a “Drift” mode. In fact, it’s a matter of turning off the driving aids and favoring rear engine power. The front engine is never “separated” and it catches again when the car goes out of reverse. This mode is not as permissive as that of the Focus RS and therefore less exciting.
On the open road, the EV6 GT lives up to its name because the comfort level remains excellent. The suspension works efficiently and passengers never feel the roughness of the road despite the presence of large diameter rims. Cabin insulation is also excellent at high speeds, where wind and road noise are almost non-existent. Braking, although well-directed, however, convinced us a little. A shorter pedal stroke and more bite would be welcome for sports use.
The battery with a useful capacity of 77.4 kWh allows a combined cycle cycle (WLTP) of 424 km. Thanks to its 800 volt architecture, it is able to accept a higher direct current charge power than the competition, i.e. 239 kW per average and up to 350 kW at peak. It can be charged from 10 to 80% in less than 20 minutes at the Ionity terminal for example. The EV6 GT offers a one-year subscription to Ionity to its customers, which offers preferential rates on unknown channels.
The driver always has a choice between six levels of energy recovery ranging from freewheeling to “i-PEDAL” which allows the driver to stop the vehicle by lifting the foot without using the brake pedal. Here the regenerative power can reach 150 kw.