Who would have thought, ten years ago, when Kia’s production was limited to a low-priced, useless and technical version released, that it could give birth in 2022 to a 100% electric monster of almost 600 hp at the peak of technology? and the concept of a car line? And yet, there it is, this Kia EV6 GT, and we went to Sweden to test it.
Big news for Kia EV6 at the moment since its range appears to be reduced ends with a new entry level, with 170 hp and a 58 kWh battery that we will not fail to test in the future, and the head of the image, the GT, which we were promised since the release of the model last year.
This GT, we start by identifying it with some cosmetic items, especially at the level of the front and rear shields slightly redesigned to be more aggressive. But what’s most striking are the large 21-inch rims that hide the green calipers too badly, giving them a Porsche look. We find this color inside with small touches, including the GT logos, but above all the beautiful bucket seats covered in alcantara that promise support and comfort.
So far, so good, but not enough to keep me up at night. Until we look at the special paper. Because here is a Kia like you’ve never seen. In fact, it uses the e-GMP platform and 800 V architecture, but all slides are pushed to 11, as they say in Spın̈al Tap: each set of wheels has the right to its own engine, the front one produces 218 hp as in the EV6 4 × 4 325 hp, one at the back, special, 367 hp, and the combination of the two reaches 585 hp and 740 Nm! Look no further, this is Kia’s most powerful production ever! 0 to 100 km / h is just a procedure as it is sent in 3.5 seconds and acceleration stops as soon as 260 km / h is reached. We will not confirm this second figure in this test, but we had the opportunity to check the first one on the dedicated track for practice. The day before, Kia recorded a best time of 3.28 s and, in our case, we did only slightly worse with 3.32 s.
Test Kia EV6: an explosive electric crossover!
However, let’s be honest: scary electrics clock in a straight line, everyone seems to know how to do it these days and the real challenge comes when you start turning the steering wheel. And there, on paper, Kia has done its homework correctly and on all levels: experimental suspension, electronic sliding differential, automatic steering and large brakes with discs 380 mm in front and 360 mm in the back. against 345 for four. horns to others EV6. And really, what does it offer? Again, the South Korean manufacturer gave us all the means to let us push the GT’s limits to its limits by setting up the circuit before even testing it on open roads. A big shower directly, therefore.
The sports mode involved at the beginning, which works with the suspension, electronic differences, direction, electronic control of the trajectory and the response of the accelerator, so we left the track that is more like a turn in its length than in width. Features that therefore add more complexity to such a long-wheelbase vehicle. And yet, the EV6 GT pulls it off admirably, defying the laws of physics with an agility its mass shouldn’t allow for 2,200 reasons. It’s no wonder the super-muscular hairpin comes off because of the traditional instant torque we’re used to now, but with an eye for ground connections. In fact we are used to electric cars with a strong call for an overpowered suspension, which indeed offers brutal efficiency in the curves, but which does not leave much room for adjustment once the limits have been reached and cashed in for comfort. But Kia chooses a different approach that is reminiscent, all things considered, of the Alpine school, and, more prosaically, the Renault Mégane E-Tech, by leaving a few degrees of roll in the downforce, which not only has a good taste to inform them. A little more grip driver can still claim from the four Michelin Pilot Sport 4S in 255 width and preserve the vertebrae in a more peaceful driving. Better still, the DGL and ESP allow the rear axle to shift slightly outwards, which, despite the all-wheel drive, gives it a bit of a sweet taste. The drive may still reach the purity of the best thermals in the field, but it’s one of the best we’ve ever tested on an electric. As for the generous stopping, the circuit profile and the low speed reached don’t allow you to sweat it. Let’s finish this paragraph with a compliment to the bucket seats that not only have a good taste to hold their occupant while sliding, but also to be placed very low, and floor seats.
And a special GT mode for this version, you ask me right? It is that of hooligans, advised only on closed roads. The electronics then provide surprising freedom, until one is left wondering if the front engine is not back in Seoul as one must be ready to steer as soon as one connects the side support with the right ankle. However, there is still a final, more permissive mode, called “drift” and which, as its name suggests, allows the rear tires to smoke with relative help from the traction control systems, if you were concerned about greenhouse gases. production of hot cars. Does it really matter? Probably not, but let’s bet it will feed some (quick) conversation on the Ionity channels.
Kia EV6 vs Hyundai Ioniq 5 comparison test: a brotherly battle between Koreans
Now it’s time to face the reality of this EV6 GT by taking it out on the open roads, and the need to immediately adjust the speed limits since Swedish roads have a lot of radar. However, there is no need to exceed them in order to rediscover some driving pleasure, in a calm way, with constant vigilance and unchanging behavior even on poor quality asphalt. In addition, and this is where this EV6 really deserves the two extra letters attached to its name, we find in Comfort mode the smoothness of the EV6, even if the 255 tires come out a little more from the cabin. Comfortable when you want it, light 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 other EV6s!
In terms of autonomy, it is not very popular: you have to pay for these performances at times and on the greater weight, a good part of this extra mass coming from the 21-inch rims. According to the WLTP cycle, we can therefore only travel 424 km on a single charge despite the battery with a generous capacity of 77.4 kWh, against 506 km for 4 × 4 325 hp in 19 inches! However, in reality the idea makes you happy to practice eco-drive on a monster close to 600 hp, know that this GT knows how to do it and even better thanks to its paddles on the steering wheel that allow you to adjust the regeneration. 5 levels. It’s enough to easily exceed 500 km on a single charge with minimal experience if we’re to believe the on-board computer.
Kia EV6 test: we tested the electric SUV over 2,300 km
But 424 km or not, it’s bad when you can charge likeEV6 ? Not true. It takes 7h20 on a source of 11 kW in changing the current, but mainly 18 minutes to go from 10 to 80% of the load in the high-speed stations with direct current, since it can collect up to 239 kW. Our route took us to the Ionity station where we often stopped to take pictures as we were at 50% load but saw 234kW of power at 60% load before the current finally dropped! Moreover, the great novel in recent weeks, which the owners have been clamoring for: this GT, like EV6 it now has a pre-battery air conditioning system. When a charging station is selected as a navigation destination, the battery is pre-heated to arrive at the charging point at a suitable temperature between 20 and 22°C. More good news, and it’s news you read first on Automobile Propre: Tesla is currently updating its V3 Superchargers to finally allow the Korean (and its cousin the Hyundai Ioniq 5 ) to plug into open sites for other brands.
Let’s end the pain. Shown from €72,990, the Kia EV6 GT demands almost €9,000 more than the 4×4 325 GT Line version, which doesn’t seem too expensive to pay for the extra 260 hp, more character and some special cosmetic features. On the other hand, at this level of performance, there are holy grail customers on the market, starting with the Tesla Model Y Performance sold for €69,990 less. Furthermore, and even if it is not a crossover but a sedan, the BMW i4 M50 travels in the same financial waters at a price of 73,750 €. Korean is not necessarily shy in front of one or the other in any field, but it still provides food for thought.
Kia EV6 vs Tesla Model Y: which is the best electric car?