► New Kia EV6: first official details
► GT version sprints to 62mph in 3.5sec
► Coming to the UK in October from £41k
Kia has released a range of specs and official details of its new electric car, the EV6.
It’s the first of many cars to come on the brand’s new E-GMP platform, shared with Hyundai. But, unlike Hyundai’s Ioniq 5, Kia has unveiled a hot performance variant straight off the bat: the EV6 GT.
Kia EV6: spec and performance details
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
Further electric car reading
The best electric cars and EVs on sale today
How much does it cost to charge an electric car?
Future electric cars: upcoming EVs to look out for