Korea's new electric hatch promises fast charging, decent range, and 576 hp in top trim.
After providing a few images and some minor details about the 2022 Kia EV6 earlier this month, Kia has today revealed its first battery-electric vehicle in all its glory. The new EV gets a range of 316 miles with the larger of two batteries, sits on a new platform built for EVs, and Kia claims it can charge from 10% to 80% in just 18 minutes with its 800-volt system. That kind of setup matches ones found in far more expensive vehicles.
The EV6 is the first dedicated battery-electric vehicle produced by Kia on the new Electric-Global Modular Platform. Hyundai's EV twin, the sharp-looking Ioniq, uses the same base. According to the brand "the EV6 forms the first part of Kia's transition to electrification under the new brand slogan, 'movement that inspires.'"
The company has now confirmed it will sell this car in the US.
Starting at the front, the first thing we see is a new interpretation of Kia's tiger-nose grille. The company is calling it the "digital tiger face" and along with the daytime running lights, lower air intake and wide stance, it looks quite fetching. Those lights are slim and modern and light up sequentially when the turn signals are on.
The profile looks like an elongated hatchback, also called a "wagon," but Kia says the silhouette is crossover-inspired. The lines curve up towards the back into the taillights, which visually lengthens the side view. The sloping C-pillar integrates the black insert to give the roof that floating look. A subdued little spoiler kicks wind off the rear.
"Something that escapes the boundaries of today's segmentation," says Karim Habib, head of global Kia design.
Moving inside, the Kia EV6 features two 12-inch, curved screens that connect in the middle. Those take care of the gauge cluster and infotainment needs. The driver gets an augmented-reality head-up display that projects relevant graphics like navigation directions and driver assistance systems. A 14-speaker Meridian sound system is also available.
Kia moved the heating and air conditioning under the hood, which slims down the dash leaving more space for people and their knees. There's no center hump, which makes for extra cabin storage.
The seats are slim, lightweight and sustainable. Kia uses 111 recycles plastic bottles to create each set. The EV6 has about 18 cubic feet of storage space when the seats are in place; that grows to 45 cubic feet with seats folded down. It also gets a few extra cubes of storage in the front trunk.
There will be three trims for the EV6: base, EV6 GT-Line and EV6 GT. The base model and GT-Line (pictured in red) offer two battery choices. The long-range is a 77.4-kWh unit and will go 316 miles on a full charge (on the WLTP cycle) with rear-wheel drive. The shorter-range battery is 58-kWh and (if the math works out) should go about 230 miles. The EV6 GT comes only with the bigger battery and gets more powerful motors as well.
The longer-range, rear-wheel-drive EV6 and GT-Line get a 225-hp motor powering the rear wheels while AWD models get a 320-hp motor connected to both axles. The shorter-range vehicles get a 167-hp motor in rear-drive form and 231-hp for all-wheel drive cars. We'll also note that all rear-drive cars come with an electronic limited-slip differential, meaning more confident (fun) handling in all weather conditions.
The top-of-the-line EV6 GT (pictured in gray) is only available with all-wheel drive and a 576-hp, 538-lb-ft electric motor. That's good for a supercar-like 3.5-second sprint to 60 mph and a top speed of 161 mph. Kia even puts the GT against some of the midgrade sports car contenders in a drag race in the clip. It's beaten in the 400-meter dash only by the McLaren 570S. It beats a laundry list of fast ICE cars at about 12 minutes in the video.
The EV6 has both 800- and 400-volt charging capabilities, without the need for components or adapters, says Kia. That's how the big-battery, two-wheel-drive model gets that 10-80% charge in 18 minutes, and about 50 extra miles in 4.5 minutes. Kia also notes that when the battery is above 35% charge, it can tow up to 3,500 pounds.
Another cool feature is the vehicle-to-load function, which allows the EV6 to act as a 3.6-kW generator (similar to the Ford F-150 PowerBoost) that can "operate a 55-inch TV and an air conditioner simultaneously for more than 24 hours." It can also charge another EV. Who needs an Overlanding rig when your Kia can do that!?
As expected the EV6 will have a sophisticated regeneration system for the brakes. It will have six modes: none, 1-3, i-Pedal and Auto. The numbers are how much regen is accessed, with i-Pedal being the "one-pedal driving mode" where you won't even have to use the brakes.
In addition to "Smaht Pahk" the new Kia comes with safe exit assist, which checks your mirrors when opening your door, lane follow assist, which keeps your car centered in the lane, and highway driving assist 2, which is Kia's name for radar cruise control. HDA2 also can create separation from a vehicle driving too close by itself, and change lanes too, as long as your hands are on the wheel.
The Kia EV6 will be produced in South Korea and go on sale starting in the second half of 2021. You can reserve one online starting today.