Power: 585 HP
Price: 72,990 euros
Kia has moved into another dimension. The Korean brand, once considered exotic on our continent, in just a decade managed to find a place for itself among the gratins of automakers. The firm has perfectly anticipated the turn to electrification, with a lineup that includes stars such as the Niro, Sportage and the new EV6 crowned 2022 Car of the Year.
France, Europe’s second market for an electric crossover, will welcome a GT version starting early next year, with a technical data sheet that’s rather unusual for Kia. Judge for yourself: two permanent magnet synchronous motors with a total output of 585 hp, maximum torque of 740 Nm, maximum speed increased to 260 km/h and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds.
Kia EV6 GT, sold for 72,990 euros, is equipped with two electric motors with a total output of 585 hp distributed to 4 wheels. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h is achieved in 3.5 seconds, and the maximum speed reaches 260 km / h.
These specs are simply close or equivalent to the best electric sports cars of the moment, 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 1000 hp. are currently developing in another galaxy. Undoubtedly, electric technology is shuffling the cards in the sports car hierarchy.
The Kia EV6 GT is, as the name suggests, a real GT, not a sports car made for the track. This status can be seen, firstly, by the almost unchanged appearance compared to the standard EV6. Only the front and rear bumpers have been slightly modified, the rims are 21-inch and the green brake calipers signal its new pedigree.
On board it is the same, a few hints of greenery adorn the tech, quality and well-finished environment. Selling for €72,990, the EV6 GT is based on the top-of-the-line GT-Line trim that brings the best of the manufacturer’s equipment catalog and enriches it with bucket seats, a sunroof and adjustable suspension as standard. As an option, only the heat pump is paid (1200 euros). An attractive price compared to the Porsche Taycan Turbo and Audi RS E-Tron GT, which sell for around 130,000 euros, but compared to the Tesla Model Y Performance (69,990 euros) and BMW i4 M Performance (73,750 euros), the Korean will have to settle for board to convince.
The main modifications of this GT concern engines and running gear. The Korean engineers focused on the rear motor, adding a second inverter that increased the power output of the battery. The function of the inverter is to convert the direct current from the battery into alternating current for the electric motors. Thus, the power of the rear engine reaches 367 hp. It is complemented by a 218 hp electric motor located on the front axle. The package delivers a total output of 585 hp, making it the most powerful Kia has ever produced.
All that burst of power is instantly channeled to the wheels with a simple press of the green “GT” button on the steering wheel. We were able to see this change in height for the first time on the track while doing standing starts. Despite the significant weight (2260 kg), the acceleration is so sharp and instantaneous that the car rises slightly at the same time as the neck muscles. The level of brutality, however, remains a notch below the Tesla “Performance”. We didn’t have a chance to check if the thrust is constant up to 260 km/h. Typically, on an electric vehicle, the power curve sags at high speed. This is where the Taycan makes its mark with its gearbox (2-speed) that allows it to maintain excellent performance at high speeds.
The other axis of this GT’s evolution concerns the running gear. The rigidity of the controlled suspensions, the engineers set up differently depending on the driving mode. Thus, in GT mode, they are about 30% stiffer than in sport mode, which allows better compensation of the rear wheel when accelerating and dive when braking. Finally, braking has been added, provided by larger diameter discs than in the standard version. To top it all off, Kia has implemented the latest version of an electronic limited slip differential that distributes power to each wheel.
However, given the EV6’s weight and long wheelbase (2.90 m), we were skeptical about its performance on the track. Obviously, the EV6 GT is not designed for the track, but in this area we were especially surprised. GT mode is on, all electronic systems begin to violate the laws of gravity as much as possible. Well controlled by an arbitrary front axle, the Korean dynamically passes the trajectories, compensates for roll quite well with support and exits the turn quite strongly. It’s pretty amazing to see a “machine” like that on the track and reassuring on the open road where grip is great. Obviously, when the pace picks up, nature takes over and the understeer is more felt in corners.
Kia even indulged in a bit of insanity by adding a Drift mode. It’s really about turning off the driving aids and increasing rear engine power. The front motor never really “cuts off” and regains traction when the car pulls from behind. This mode is not as permissive as the Focus RS and therefore much less fun.
On the open road, the EV6 GT performs particularly well because comfort levels remain excellent. The suspension works efficiently and the passengers do not feel the bumps in the road, despite the presence of large diameter rims. The cabin noise isolation is also excellent at high speeds, where wind and road noise are almost inaudible. Braking, however good, convinced us less. Shorter pedal travel and more bite are welcome for sport use.
The battery with a usable capacity of 77.4 kWh provides a combined range (WLTP) of 424 km. Thanks to its 800-volt architecture, it is able to accept higher DC charging power than the competition, namely 239 kW on average and up to 350 kW at peak. For example, it can be charged from 10% to 80% in less than 20 minutes at the Ionity terminal. EV6 GT offers its customers an annual subscription to Ionity, which provides preferential rates for terminals of the same name.
The driver always has a choice between six levels of energy recovery, from freewheeling to “i-PEDAL”, which allows the driver to stop the car on a foot lift without using the brake pedal. Here, the regeneration power can reach 150 kW.