► New Kia EV6: UK specs now revealed
► Price starts at £40,895 for 316 mile range
► GT version sprints to 62mph in 3.5sec
A standard 77.4kWh battery ratified for 316 miles, rear wheel-drive and a £40,895 base price: Kia has confirmed the specification of the zero emissions EV6, its Porsche-bothering crossover in flagship GT spec. Car dropped in to Kia UK’s deserted HQ to kick the tyres of the zero emissions crossover, and here are 10 bitesize things you need to know about it.
Top priority: confirm the base spec
All UK cars get the 77.4kWH ‘long-range’ battery; there are no current plans to offer the 58kWh pack here. ‘On the e-Niro, [the smaller 39kWh battery] is only a few percent of the mix,’ explains marketing director David Hilbert. Entry-level GTs are rear-wheel drive, roll on 19-inch alloys and come equipped with dual 12.3-inch touchscreens with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, ambient mood lighting, reverse parking sensors and heated front seats upholstered using recycled materials.
iPace: Jaguar that inspires
Kia’s new slogan might be Movement that Inspires, but in case of the EV6 it appears to have been Jaguar design that inspired the packaging team. The EV6 has the same butch presence as the iPace, and the stubby nose, short overhangs, overall shape and big wheels have me thinking ex-Jag designer Ian Callum should claim royalties. The EV-6 is almost identically sized too, though its 2900mm wheelbase is 90mil shorter than the Jag’s. Nonetheless there’s still lots of space inside.
Game-changing charge times
The EV6’s electrical architecture is configured to handle 800-volt charging, effectively future-proofing it as today’s 400-volt ecosystem is superseded. That puts it on a par with Porsche’s Taycan, with the same potential ultrafast-charging benefit.
On the Ionity charging network (instigated by the German car makers, and now joined by Kia) with up to 350kW chargers, the EV6 can power up from 10 to 80 per cent in just 18 minutes. This rwd car can top up 62 miles of range in about 4 minutes. These are game-changing charging times – once the hi-po infrastructure is in place.
How practical is it?
The charging socket is at the rear corner of the car beneath the hooped light bar, though the best place for the cable is this storage box in the nose. It holds 52 litres on rear-drive cars, but drops to 20 litres on all-wheel drive models due to the front motor nibbling away at the space. The actual boot swallows 520 litres. Wheel size, by the way, spans 19 to 21 inches – the upper two are the largest fitted to a European Kia.
What’s it like inside?
Aside from the tech specs, the interior is probably the ace up the EV6’s sleeve. Kia’s dedicated e-GMP platform with the battery cells in the base enables a flat floor. This makes the EV6 feel nicely spacious, particularly in the rear with its copious kneeroom. The relaxation seats (pictured here) come in at £43,895 GT Line level, and are designed to make a nap possible while you charge. Which paints a certain picture of the world’s EV charging infrastructure.
Gently curving screens
Look closely and you’ll spot that the EV6 touchscreens are gently curved. Three years ago, this was the preserve of show booths at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas – now it’s adorning production Kias. The double O-Ring steering wheel is another nice flourish, especially when the rings are in contrasting tones. On another note, the ‘vegan leather’ uses materials including 111 recycled plastic bottles.
Looney Tunes console
My personal highlight is the hanging centre console, which floats like one of those cliffs Wile E Coyote habitually runs off. The ‘come and press me’ 3D start button busting out of the fascia, the discreet but clear buttons at the leading edge, the rugged textile finish on the arm rest: the EV6’s cabin is packed with surprise and delight moments.
All-wheel drive and the rest of the range
GT Line is the Tier 2 spec, which adds the 19-inch rims you see here, front parking sensors, adaptive LED headlamps and a three-pin plug power take-off to charge stuff. This costs £43,895 for a 226bhp rear-drive model, but £47,395 unlocks the all-wheel drive model, with a 70kW front motor taking combined power to 321bhp. GT Line S costs £48,395 for rear-drive, £51,895 for AWD, and brings 20-inch rims, cooled front seats, powered tailgate, glass roof, head-up display and 14-speaker audio system from British specialist Meridian.
Move as fast as a GT to get one
The 577bhp GT version – easily spotted by its lime green highlights – has captured the imagination with its 3.5sec 0-62mph time, with an EV6 prototype dusting Lambo, Porsche, Ferrari: all but a McLaren 570S in a drag race promotional video. Some 30 per cent of UK reservations are for this model – which doesn’t begin production until next year, with deliveries 18 months away. Kia is now sorting through the expressions of interest to get confirmations for this year's limited supply of circa 1000 cars; any orders placed from 1 May will be for a 2022 delivery.
A Kia that shadows a Porsche Turbo
‘Who would have thought,’ says Kia exec Dan Sayles, ‘that a company [known for] the Picanto 15 years ago would create a car that’s Taycan Turbo quick but half the price!’ The bald stats certainly say as much: the £116k Taycan Turbo surges from standstill to 62mph in 3.2secs, the £58k EV6 GT – almost 100bhp down on power – is just three-tenths slower. ‘That’s why you’d consider this car over rivals: it has a special level of tech in an accessible, mass produced car,’ says Sayles.
Read on for our first pictures story, with more details, of Kia's EV6.
Kia EV6: the first performance details
This is the Kia EV6 the first of many cars to come on the brand’s new E-GMP electric platform, shared with Hyundai. But, unlike Hyundai’s Ioniq 5, Kia has unveiled a hot performance variant straight off the bat: the EV6 GT.
There will be two battery capacities available: 58 and 77.4kWh. Rear- and all-wheel drive versions are available, too.
The new EV6 will initially come in three trim flavours: standard, GT Line and GT. For the standard and GT Line versions, you can choose from either the standard or long-range battery and either drivetrain option. For the rear-wheel drive version, Kia says the EV6 has 227bhp from a single e-motor, capable of sprinting to 62mph in 6.2seconds, with the all-wheel drive version producing 321bhp and a standing sprint over with in 5.2 seconds.
Kia claims the thriftiest, longest-range EV6 is the long-range rear-wheel drive model, capable of up to 316 miles on a single charge.
The full-fat GT, meanwhile, has the long-range battery and all-wheel drive as standard. But the GT’s motors also get a power boost, with the hottest EV6 making 577bhp and sprinting to 62mph in just 3.5 seconds, making it a faster sprinter than a 992-generation 911 Carrera S and Aston Martin’s Vantage, and capable of keeping up with Ferrari’s Roma.
Kia’s new EV6 uses an 800-volt electronic architecture, meaning it can be charged effectively double as fast as a lot of other EVs on the road. Kia claims, for example, that around 62 miles of charge can be added in five minutes (given you’re using the most potent charger available).
Along with charging, the EV6 also has a function to allow the battery pack to power external items, again, like the Ioniq 5. Kia points to powering devices inside as well as things like power tools or even e-powered bikes and scooters, for example.
Kia EV6: the interior
It’s modern inside, but Kia doesn’t want to overload you with technology. A single curved screen panel, similar to the display on the BMW iX, sits atop a dashboard with physical switchgear. The panel of buttons beneath the screen can change functionality, giving you the option of swapping between air-con controls and navigation quick-action buttons, for example.
Again, like the Ioniq 5, the EV6 also has seats that recline (including the seat base) allowing you to relax if you’re busy charging.
Kia EV6: UK prices and release date
You can order an EV6 now, with prices starting from £40,895 for the standard EV6. The GT Line will cost you from £43,895. The hot GT, meanwhile, will set you back £58,295.
Deliveries for the standard and GT Line models are expected in October 2021, with the GT coming a year later.
CAR talks to Kia’s Karim Habib
Kia’s new EV6 electric car is a big design leap for the brand. After so-so teaser images and lacklustre unofficial artist's impressions doing the rounds, the official pictures are refreshing.
The EV6 is a strong design and the first Kia in Europe to sport the Korean brand’s new angular logo. It’s also optimised its underpinnings, as new senior design VP Karim Habib told CAR at a virtual press roundtable: 'The architecture of the E-GMP platform has strong advantages. The long wheelbase, short front and rear overhangs, large wheels and not having to put a engine behind the front axle gives flexibility to where you place the windscreen and rear glass.' With batteries packaged low down between the axles a large, ‘two-box’ design becomes logical and a flat-floor, spacious cabin possible.
The EV6 is at its most distinctive at the side and rear, where a metallic twin sill stripe rises diagonally up to full-width rear light signature. Kia won’t reveal exact dimensions yet but bet on the EV6 being shorter than the i-Pace, but with a longer 3000mm wheelbase, and larger than its 4635mm-long Hyundai Ioniq 5 stablemate.
One large, curved screen does dominate the dash but with physical air-con and volume controls below. Ex-BMW and Infiniti man Habib only arrived at Kia in late 2019 so had little input on the EV6 but is in favour of continuing this approach: 'Screens allow the user to individualise their experience, but in the future the key will be a healthy balance between what you access directly and what you need to push into the background until you need it. So, I think it’s both – screens and hard buttons.'
Habib left us with one extra tantalising design nugget – that he’s a big fan of ‘mono-volume’ cars. 'I think it’s just a smart concept,' he enthused. 'You could do some cool things with that and I hope we’ll have more of them.'
Maybe a new space-age electric Sedona MPV could be in his sketch book – rebranded EV7 or 8 or 9, of course.
By Guy Bird
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