The new all-electric Kia EV6 is here to give your a Ferrari a bloody nose

30 March 2021 - 12:07 By Motoring Staff
The new Kia EV6 will launch in select global markets during the second half of 2021.
The new Kia EV6 will launch in select global markets during the second half of 2021.
Image: Supplied

Kia on Tuesday officially unveiled its all-new EV6 crossover SUV.

Designed to take on the likes of the more established Tesla Model 3 and Jaguar I-Pace, the sharp-looking EV6 is the South Korean brand's first battery electric vehicle (BEV) to be built on Hyundai Motor Company's dedicated Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) architecture. 

“EV6 is the embodiment of the new Kia," said Ho Sung Song, Kia’s president and CEO.

"It is born to inspire every journey, through bold design, progressive engineering, innovative technologies  and exciting electric performance. EV6 also represents the beginning of Kia’s long-term commitment to sustainable mobility, accelerating the transition not only to clean transportation, but also products, materials and manufacturing.”

Coupé-inspired styling hides a large and practical cabin with plenty of space for passengers and luggage.
Coupé-inspired styling hides a large and practical cabin with plenty of space for passengers and luggage.
Image: Supplied

Produced in South Korea the EV6 is expected to go on sale in select global markets from the second half of 2021.

According to Kia, this Tesla rival will offer customers a choice of multiple fully-electric, zero-emission powertrain configurations, including long range (77.4kWh) and standard range (58kWh) high voltage battery packs. The entry-level EV6 and mid-range EV6 GT can also be had in either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. 

In terms of range, Kia claims the rear-driven 77.4kWh EV6 can travel more than 510km on a single charge on the WLTP combined cycle. With a maximum 605Nm torque available on the all-wheel drive version, the EV6 can reach 0-100 km/h in 5.2 seconds. The 77.4kWh battery pack is paired with a 168kW electric motor powering the rear wheels. All-wheel drive models feature a 239kW electric motor powering both the front and rear wheels.

One of the most striking interior elements is a seamless high-tech curved infotainment screen.
One of the most striking interior elements is a seamless high-tech curved infotainment screen.
Image: Supplied

Moving onto the standard-range models and the 58kWh EV6 can dash from 0-100 km/h in 6.2 seconds, with a maximum 605Nm torque available on the all-wheel drive version. The 58kWh battery pack is paired with a 125kW electric motor twisting the rear wheels. The all-wheel drive model gets a 173kW electric motor powering the front and rear axles.

Charging time is a major consideration when it comes to electric vehicles and the EV6 promises snappy battery replenishment at the plugs thanks to its 800V and 400V charging capabilities without the need for any additional components or adapters. Kia claims its newcomer is capable of a high-speed charge from 10 to 80% in just 18 minutes on all variations or a top-up charge of 100km worth of driving range in less than four-and-a-half minutes with the rear-wheel drive, 77.4-kWh battery model option.

The car’s charging system is also more flexible than previous generation BEVs thanks to an Integrated Charging Control Unit (ICCU). The ICCU enables a new vehicle-to-load (V2L) function, which is capable of discharging energy from the vehicle battery. The V2L function can supply up to 3.6kW of power and is capable, as an example, of operating a 55-inch television and air conditioner simultaneously for more than 24 hours (how handy would this be during load-shedding?). The system is also able to charge another EV, if needed.

Perhaps the best thing about the EV6 is that in range-topping GT specification it is able to hold its own among some of the world's most capable sports cars. Available exclusively with all-wheel drive and the 77.4-kWh battery pack, the flagship EV6 GT is equipped with 430kW dual motors that offer seriously impressive performance.

With a maximum 740Nm worth of torque on tap, the GT accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in a mere 3.5 seconds and can reach a top speed of 260km/h. Kia conducted a quarter-mile drag race between it, a Lamborghini Urus, Mercedes-AMG GT, McLaren 570S, Porsche 911 Targa 4 and a Ferrari California T. Amazingly the EV6 GT beat them all except the 570S.

As exciting as this all sounds, Kia hasn't yet confirmed whether the new EV6 will be sold in SA. The company plans to bring one unit here to conduct a feasibility study. Depending on how that goes it may or may not get the nod. Here's hoping it does. 


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