580hp. That's how much power Kia plans to wring from the GT version of its new EV6 electric car. Having shown off the styling a couple of weeks ago, Kia is now opening up about the technical details of its new large EV. Given that it shares Kia and Hyundai's new E-GMP electric car platform with the Hyundai Ioniq 5, we might have expected the tech details to be a re-tread of what we'd seen before. Not so much, as it turns out...
For a start, the EV6 will come with a bigger battery than the Hyundai. The EV6's biggest battery will be a 77kWh unit, compared to the Ioniq 5's 72kWh battery. We suspect that the EV6 actually uses physically the same battery, but that Kia is allowing more of the battery's power to be accessed.
The EV6's smaller battery model matches the Hyundai with 58kWh of accessible power (batteries always have a little more total power than accessible power - some is held in reserve to extend the life of the battery pack).
With the 77kWh battery and a single, rear-wheel drive 229hp electric motor, the EV6 can go for 510km on a single charge. Brisk, then. There's also a four-wheel drive version, using front and rear-mounted electric motors with a total output of 325hp and 605Nm of torque. Kia hasn't given us a WLTP range for that model, yet.
The smaller 58kWh battery can be paired with either a 169hp single electric motor or a twin-motor setup with 235hp. All-wheel drive models have maximum torque of 605Nm and can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 5.6 seconds (for the 77kWh model) or 6.2 seconds (for the 58kWh model).
And then there's the EV6 GT model. Even Kia, in its press release, described the performance as 'eye watering' and that's hardly surprising. With twin motors packing a whopping 584hp, plus 740(!)Nm of torque, the EV6 GT will hit 100km/h from standstill in just 3.5 seconds, with a top speed of 260km/h. Without question, Albert Biermann - ex of BMW M-Sport and now Kia's head of R&D - is going Porsche-baiting with this new GT.
"The GT version of EV6 demonstrates our technological leadership through its combination of outstanding high-speed charging and acceleration performance like a super sports car. With our dedicated EV platform, there is no need for compromise between inspiring spaciousness and performance," said Biermann.
Just as important as how fast it goes is how fast the EV6 will charge, and again the comparison is more Porsche than Volkswagen. Porsche pioneered ultra-rapid 800-volt charging systems for its Taycan models, and now Kia will use a similar system that dramatically cuts charging times. Plug an EV6 with the optional 800-volt charging setup (a 400-volt charger is standard) into a 350kW rapid charger (an IONITY one, for example) and it'll go from ten per cent charge to 80 per cent in just 18 minutes. A single-motor 77kWh EV6 model will, from the same charger, add 100km of extra range in less than four-and-a-half minutes of rapid charging.
The EV6 can also act as a charger itself. It has a 'V2L' or Vehicle To Load system that allows it to power other electrical devices, such as heavy-duty power tools, or even a house in the case of a major electricity outage. Kia even claims that the battery's 3.6kW outlet can actually be used to top up the charge of another electric car, if needed.
The EV6 comes with a few power-saving items too, such as a high-power regenerative braking system, and a heat-pump heating system that scavenges warmth from the battery cooling circuit, and which helps to ensure decent cold-weather performance from the battery.
That braking system, by the way, has a six-level setup, allowing you to choose from freewheeling when you lift off the accelerator, all the way up to one-pedal stopping for heavy traffic.
Remote control parking
Inside the EV6, there are two big 12-inch screens - one for instruments and one for infotainment - and an augmented reality heads-up display projected onto the windscreen. There's also a doubtless-banging 14-speaker Meridian sound system, and an "Active Sound Design (ASD), a newly-developed feature by Kia which provides drivers with audible feedback to the speed that the car is travelling and controlled via a user interface."
Safety equipment includes rear doors that shout a warning if they detect you're about to step out into the path of a moving bike or car, and 'Highway Driving Assistant 2' or HDA2, which keeps you in lane, a safe distance from other traffic, and which can change lanes for you too. There will even be a Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA), which helps remotely park or exit a parking spot with the driver operating the EV6 from outside the vehicle.
The EV6 will also be very practical, with a 520-litre boot, and an extra 'frunk' boot under the bonnet, which holds between 51 and 20 litres depending upon whether your EV6 is rear or four-wheel drive. In the cabin, the seats are "slim, lightweight and contemporary, and clad in modern, visually interesting and robust fabrics" created using recycled plastics - equivalent to 111 plastic water bottles.