Who would have thought, ten years ago, when Kia’s production was limited to a low-cost, insipid and technically undeveloped offer, that in 2022 it would give birth to a 100% electric monster with almost 600 hp at the height of the technology? and the line of concept cars? And yet it exists, this Kia EV6 GT, and we went to Sweden to test it.
Big news for Kia EV6 at the moment since its range is trimmed at the ends by a new entry model, with 170 hp and a 58 kWh battery that we will not fail to test next time, and a figurehead, the GT, which we promised from the beginning. model launched last year.
This GT, we begin by recognizing it with certain aesthetic elements, in particular at the level of the front and rear shields slightly redesigned to be more aggressive. But what is most striking are the specific large 21-inch wheels that excessively conceal the neon green calipers, making them very Porsche electrified. We find this color in the interior with small touches, as well as some GT logos, but above all beautiful alcantara-lined bucket seats that promise support and comfort.
So far, it’s pretty nice, but not nice enough to get you up at night. Until we take a look at the spec sheet. Because here you have a Kia like you’ve never seen it. It is true that it uses the e-GMP platform and the 800V architecture, but all the sliders have been pushed to 11, as we say in Spın̈al Tap: each set of wheels is entitled to its motor, the front one produces 218 hp as in the EV6 4 × 4 of 325 hp, the one in the back, specifically, 367 hp, and the combination of the two reaches 585 hp and 740 Nm! Look no further, this is quite simply the most powerful production Kia ever! The 0 to 100 km/h is just a formality since it is dispatched in 3.5 s and the acceleration only stops once it reaches 260 km/h. We will not validate this second figure in this test, but we had the opportunity to check the first on a track dedicated to exercise. The day before, Kia posted a best time of 3.28s and for our part we did slightly worse with 3.32s.
Kia EV6 test: an explosive electric crossover!
Let’s be honest though: Electrics who scare the stopwatch in a straight line all seem to know how to do it these days and the real challenge comes when you start turning the wheel. And there, on paper, Kia has done its homework correctly and at all levels: piloted suspension, electronic limited slip differential, more direct steering and large brakes with 380 mm discs in front and 360 mm behind against 345 in all four. corners in the others EV6. And really, what does it give? Again, the South Korean manufacturer gave us every means to allow us to push the limits of the GT in its latest entrenchments by putting a circuit at our disposal before even testing it on open roads. The large bathroom directly, therefore.
Sports mode activated at first, which acts on the suspensions, the electronic differential, the steering, the electronic control of the trajectory and the throttle response, so we start on a track that looks more like a turnstile due to its length than its its width. Characteristics that consequently add additional difficulty to a vehicle with such a long wheelbase. And yet the EV6 GT pulls it off amazingly, defying the laws of physics with an agility its mass shouldn’t allow for 2200 reasons. No surprises with very muscular fork dropouts thanks to the traditional instant available torque we’re now used to, but with wide eyes for ground connections. Indeed, we are used to electric vehicles with a dynamic vocation and excessively firm suspensions, which undoubtedly offer brutal efficiency in curves, but which does not leave much room to correct once the limits are reached and is paid in cash in terms of comfort. But Kia chooses a different approach that is ultimately reminiscent of the alpine school and, more prosaically, of the Renault Mégane E-Tech, by leaving a few degrees of roll in downforce, which it not only has the good taste to report. The driver can still demand a little more grip from the four Michelin Pilot Sport 4S in 255 width and preserve the vertebrae in a quieter drive. Better still, the DGL and ESP allow the rear axle to be offset slightly outwards, which, despite the all-wheel drive, gives it a delicious flavor of propulsion. The address may not yet reach the purity of the best thermals in the field, but it is one of the most pleasant we have ever experienced in an electric. As for the generous braking, the profile of the circuit with relatively low speeds reached did not allow us to break a sweat. We end this paragraph with congratulations to the bucket seats that not only have the good taste of holding their occupant when they twist, but are also installed very low, with the seat at ground level.
And the GT mode specific to this version, you rightly ask me? It is the one for hooligans, which is recommended only on closed roads. The electronics then offer amazing freedom, to the point that one wonders if the front engine hasn’t returned to Seoul, since one has to be prepared to countersteer as soon as lateral support and a stretched right ankle are combined. However, there is one last mode, even more forgiving, soberly titled “drift” and which, as the name suggests, allows the rear tires to smoke with relative help from the traction control systems, in case you feel nostalgic for exhaust gases. greenhouse effect. thermal car emissions. Is it really essential? Probably not, but let’s bet it will power some (quick) conversations on Ionity terminals.
Comparative test Kia EV6 vs Hyundai Ioniq 5: fratricidal duel between Koreans
Then it’s time to confront this EV6 GT with reality by taking it on open roads, with the need to immediately adjust to speed limits as Swedish roads are rich in speed cameras. However, it is not necessary to overcome them to rediscover a certain dynamic driving pleasure, in a calm and vigorous way, with constant consideration and unflappable behavior even on poor quality asphalt. Also, and this is where this EV6 fully deserves the extra two letters attached to its name, we find in Comfort mode the smoothness of the EV6, although the 255 tires purr a bit more in the cabin. Comfortable when you want it, agile if you want it, it certainly deserves its GT name. The icing on the cake is that you can also tow up to 1,800kg, or 200 more than the other EV6s!
On the autonomy side, it is less famous: you have to pay for these benefits at some point and above all a greater overweight, much of this additional mass coming from the 21-inch wheels. According to the WLTP cycle, we can only travel 424 km on a charge despite a battery with a generous capacity of 77.4 kWh, compared to 506 km for a 325 hp 19-inch 4×4! In reality, however, if you’re amused by the idea of practicing eco-driving in a monster close to 600 hp, you should know that this GT knows how to do it and even very well thanks to its paddles on the steering wheel that allow you to adjust the regeneration. in 5 levels Enough to easily exceed 500 km on a single charge with a minimum of experience if we give credit to the on-board computer.
Kia EV6 test: we tested the electric SUV for 2,300 km
But 424 km or not, is it so bad when you can charge like theEV6 ? Not really. It takes 7h20 on a source of 11 kW in alternating current, but above all 18 minutes to go from 10 to 80% load on the fastest terminals in direct current, since it can collect up to 239 kW. Our route took us through an Ionity station where most of the time we stopped to take a photo as we were at 50% load, but we saw 234kW of power up to 60% load before the curve finally did not sink. In addition, a great novelty in recent weeks, which owners are clamoring for: this GT, like all EV6 now has a battery preconditioning system. When a charging station is selected as a destination in navigation, the battery is preheated to arrive at the charging point at an ideal temperature between 20 and 22°C. More good news, and it’s information you first read on Automobile Propre: Tesla is currently upgrading its V3 Superchargers to finally allow the Korean (and its cousin the Hyundai Ioniq 5) to connect to sites open to other brands.
Let’s end the pain. Shown from €72,990, the Kia EV6 GT claims almost €9,000 more than the 4×4 325 GT Line version, which does not seem expensive for an additional 260 hp, more character and some specific aesthetic elements. On the other hand, at this level of performance, there are some great customers on the market, starting with the Tesla Model Y Performance sold for €69,990. Moreover, and although it is not a crossover but a sedan, the BMW i4 M50 navigates in the same financial waters with a price of €73,750. The Korean does not have to be embarrassed before one or the other in any field, but it is still something to think about.
Kia EV6 vs Tesla Model Y: which is the best electric?
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