Kia takes on Porsche, Mercedes, BMW and other marques with their luxury electric EV6 Grand Tourer.
Boasting impressive performance and specifications, the South Korean brand aims to capture buyers who want bang for their buck. Jeremy Webb goes on a short tour to discover why the EV6 GT is causing a stir.
The EV6 GT is Kia’s most powerful production car, with a top speed of 259 Km/H and a scintillating acceleration of 0-100 Km/H in 3.5 seconds. Not only does the car bear the GT letters, but it also has a GT Mode delivering exhilaration at the press of a button. The vehicle is fully electric producing 577 bhp and 740 Nm torque. To enable GT credentials, Kia has built-in a range of 420 Km and 800V ultra-fast charging.
You can storm up and down the roads of mainland Europe with no anxiety, thanks to the ability to charge the EV6 GT from 10-80 % in just 18 minutes. Perfect for allowing a comfort stop and taking on refreshments while your battery is attended to.
Kia’s advanced Electric-Global Modular Platform, the EV6 GT, delivers performance and touring credentials. The EV6 GT’s exterior features sporty touches and aesthetics hinting at the vehicle’s performance. Inside, occupants are greeted with a focused yet comfortable space. State-of-the-art tech meets the needs of the driver and passengers, enhancing safety, connectivity and infotainment to protect and engage on a journey.
The EV6 GT enhances ride and handling characteristics for a rewarding and genuinely connected feel. Performance brakes optimized steering, and reworked suspension increase your control and confidence, while the Drive Mode Select system with a ‘GT Mode’ allows you to customize the driving experience.
The EV6 GT delivers something different in the electric crossover class: a distinctive, impactful exterior with high-tech features. Kia’s’ Opposites United’ design philosophy influences all aspects of the EV6 GT’s styling, which takes inspiration from contrasts found in nature and humanity.
The signature ‘Digital Tiger Face’ includes adaptive LED high-beam headlights and dynamic sequential turn indicators. Muscular bumpers and a new clamshell bonnet with pronounced character lines lend a powerful look. A front bumper, unique to the GT, helps emphasize the vehicle’s width and stability, planted stance.
The EV6 GT’s aerodynamic side profile features prominent character lines that add strength and definition, while the ‘fast’ roofline and sloping C-pillars create a sleek crossover silhouette. The vehicle’s sporty character is also communicated via a set of five-spoke 21-inch alloy wheels unique to the EV6 GT, while striking neon brake callipers signal its incredible stopping power. An aero spoiler at the rear, statement LED taillights, and a unique bumper and diffuser complete the GT transformation.
When driving across countries on Grand Tours, you want comfort and clear, user-friendly displays and controls. The Kia EV6 GT has all this with a luxurious look and feel. In the front, support comes from Suede-trimmed bucket seats with metal inserts inscribed with the ‘GT’ moniker and neon green piping. The interior is finished with premium materials, and sports-inspired touches create a purposeful ambience. A striped motif adorns the upper fascia and front centre armrest, while ambient lighting across the door panels, centre console and dashboard deliver a soothing glow during night-time driving.
Dual curved 30cm infotainment displays deliver driving, connectivity and entertainment functions clearly. The simple form language of the wide screens and horizontally aligned dashboard give the interior a cosseting, high-tech feel. The ergonomic two-spoke steering wheel includes a dedicated lime green GT Drive Mode button, enabling drivers to access and customize their driving experience easily.
Despite the EV6 GT’s compact exterior dimensions, a 2,900mm wheelbase and flat floor result in cabin space similar to that of many mid-size SUVs, providing exceptional long-distance touring capabilities. The interior benefits from applying Kia’s dedicated electric vehicle architecture, E-GMP. The EV6 GT offers intelligent and flexible interior packaging and an abundance of cabin storage areas, including 480 litres of boot space with second-row seats in place. If the second row is folded down, the stowage capacity increases to 1,260 litres. The car also features a front boot, which provides an additional 20 litres of storage – ideal for storing the car’s charging cable.
The EV6 GT’s unique suspension ensures the car’s ride remains flat in all situations, mitigating roll when cornering or changing lanes at high speed. It also limits squatting during rapid acceleration and diving under braking. The ride retains a high degree of fluidity and compliance, whichever drive mode is selected, so it remains an enjoyable place for all occupants, even over long distances.
Drive modes unlock the full capability of semi-active suspension. The suspension hardware provides the foundations for the EV6 GT’s software chassis systems. An electronic-Limited Slip Differential (e-LSD), unique to the EV6 GT, ensures abundant power is harnessed effectively, enhancing traction and stability when cornering by automatically shuffling torque to the wheels with the most grip. The e-LSD includes Smart Traction and Smart Yaw Damping functionality that balances road-holding and comfort in line with the car’s GT brief.
The GT’s Electronic Control Suspension delivers agility and comfort by managing the semi-active High-Performance Dampers, which are unique to the EV6 GT. In Eco, Normal and Sport drive modes, unwanted body movements are well controlled for an EV, thanks to the sporting character and low centre of gravity of the EV6. However, at the heart of the EV6 GT’s driving experience lies a dedicated GT Drive Mode, accessed via a neon button conveniently located within the lower right portion of the two-spoke steering wheel. Accessing the Drive Modes allows you to tailor the overall dynamic character of the EV6 GT to your tastes.
The GT Drive Mode automatically configures the vehicle’s e-motors, braking, steering, semi-active dampers, e-LSD and Electronic Stability Control systems into their most dynamic settings (Sport or Sport+), transforming the character and response of this sporting crossover, and providing a highly engaging experience behind the wheel.
In GT Mode, the ESC allows a greater tyre slip for an intimate, tuneable connection with the road. To deliberately provoke oversteer, a selectable Drift Mode sends a more significant proportion of power to the rear wheels – up to 100% for unconstrained sideways action, while power can be distributed to the front wheels again when exiting a curve to improve acceleration. You can even deactivate the ESC system for heightened oversteer potential if preferred.
In addition, an Integrated Electric Booster reduces braking distances, and the selectable brake mode (‘Normal’ or ‘Sport’) allows the driver to tailor the sensitivity of the brake pedal for a greater responsive feel.
The high-performance brake hardware integrates seamlessly with the regenerative brake system, officially calibrated to peak at 150 kW recuperation—the EV6 GT peaks at over 300 kW recuperation when combined with active braking. You can choose from six regenerative braking levels (none, 1 to 3, ‘i-PEDAL’, or auto mode), depending on the desired level of energy recuperation. The ‘i-PEDAL’ driving mode allows the car to harvest the maximum energy from the brakes, enabling you to bring the vehicle to a gentle stop without needing to push the brake pedal.
As I mentioned, the Kia EV6 GT has plenty of rivals in the luxury GT sector, but it comes at the lower end of the pricing scale. Meaning you get excellent quality, performance and practicality at a great value. Some of the competitors are the Polestar 2, Audi e-Tron S, BMW i4, Kia EV6 GT
Thanks to Fine Cars of Gosport for the loan of the car.
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