The pricing and specifications list for the much anticipated Kia EV6 model line-up was released last week starting with the entry-level rear-wheel-drive, 168kW motor producing 226bhp model for a little over £40k. The range-topping EV6 GT model includes an impressive 430kW dual-motor drivetrain delivering a combined total power output of 577bhp and 3.5-second 0-to-62mph sprint – Electric Road takes a closer look.
The new Kia EV6 brings long-range, zero-emissions power, 800V ultra-fast charging and distinctive styling to the crossover SUV market. The EV6 is Kia’s first car to be based on the company’s dedicated new platform for battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
This pioneering crossover – the first dedicated BEV launched under the new Kia design philosophy ‘Opposites United’ – displays a future-oriented EV design characterised by high-tech details. It is powered exclusively by electric energy, with a choice of multiple long-range, zero-emissions powertrain configurations. The 800V charging capability means EV6 can go from 10 to 80 per cent battery charge in just 18 minutes, while the GT version, engineered to inspire consumers with exciting driving performance, can accelerate from 0-to-100km/h in 3.5 seconds with a top speed of 260km/h.
The EV6 is the first dedicated BEV produced by Kia using the all-new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), and forms the first part of Kia’s transition to the new era of electrification under the new brand slogan, ‘Movement that inspires’. It also begins the mid-to-long term strategy for BEVs, plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid electric (HEV) vehicles to make up 40 per cent of Kia’s total sales by 2030, with an annual sales target of 1.6 million units for these eco-friendly models. As part of this, Kia aims to grow its BEV sales to 880,000 units in 2030 and become a top global seller. EV6 is the first of 11 new BEV models from Kia by 2026 – seven built on E-GMP architecture, and four derivative EVs based on existing models.
“EV6 is the embodiment of the new Kia. It is born to inspire every journey, through bold design, progressive engineering, innovative technologies, and exciting electric performance,” Ho Sung Song, Kia’s President and CEO said. “EV6 also represents the beginning of Kia’s long-term commitment to sustainable mobility, accelerating the transition not only to clean transportation, but also products, materials and manufacturing.”
New design language strikes a balance between contrasting forces
The EV6 was designed under the brand’s new design philosophy ‘Opposites United’, which takes inspiration from the contrasts found in nature and humanity. At the centre of the design philosophy is a new visual identity evoking positive forces and natural energy, with contrasting combinations of sharp stylistic elements and sculptural shapes.
Karim Habib, Senior Vice President and Head of Kia Global Design Centre, elaborated: “EV6, as the first dedicated Kia EV, is a showcase of human-centred, progressive design and electrified power. We strongly believe EV6 is a compelling and relevant model for the new EV era. With EV6 we aimed to create a distinctive, impactful design by using a combination of sophisticated, high-tech features on pure and rich volumes while providing a dedicated EV aiming to define our future.”
Designed to deliver something different in the crossover class, the GT version of the EV6 offers a distinctive, impactful exterior with high-tech features, as well as unprecedented levels of performance from a Kia electric vehicle.
At the front, Kia’s ‘tiger face’ has been re-interpreted for the digital era. Forming part of this ‘Digital Tiger Face’, daytime running lights display a sleek, modern appearance and include a ‘sequential’ dynamic light pattern. Below this, a low air intake visually widens the front of the car, accentuating its high-tech image.
The side profile displays a crossover-inspired silhouette, which is modern, sleek and aerodynamic. A character line runs along the bottom of the doors, curving upwards towards the rear wheel arches to visually elongate the profile of the car. Designed in part to realise ultimate aerodynamic performance, the rear displays a sloping C-pillar with an integrated black glossy insert which appears to extend the window glass. Above this sits a prominent wing-type roof spoiler that channels air downwards towards a raised lower spoiler, which sits atop the car’s unique rear light cluster.
Versatile and spacious inside thanks to the flat battery under the floor
A distinct product of the EV era, the interior design benefits greatly from the application of Kia’s dedicated E-GMP platform. Despite the EV6’s compact exterior dimensions, its 2,900mm wheelbase results in a cabin space similar to many mid-size SUVs.
Jochen Paesen, Vice President for Interior Design, commented: “People are first attracted by the exterior of cars, but they eventually fall in love with the interior – where they spend most of their time. So, designing an inspiring space for the EV6 was the most important thing for us. We believe EV6 can inspire customers by boosting their creativity.”
One of the most striking elements is a seamless high-tech curved infotainment screen. The simple form language of the wide screen and dashboard give the interior an open feel.
Relaxation seats are slim, lightweight and contemporary, and clad in modern, visually interesting and robust fabrics created using recycled plastics – equivalent to 111 plastic water bottles.
The EV6 offers intelligent and flexible interior packaging and an abundance of cabin storage areas, including 520 litres (VDA) of boot space with the second-row seats in place. With the second-row seats folded down, stowage capacity increases to approximately 1,300 litres. The car also features a front trunk which provides up to an additional 52 litres of stowage space for 2WD models and 20 litres for AWD models.
Long-range, all-wheel drive and zero-emissions
The EV6 offers buyers a choice of multiple fully-electric, zero-emission powertrain configurations, including long-range (77.4kWh) and standard-range (58.0kWh) high-voltage battery packs. EV6 GT-line is available with both long-range and standard-range battery packs, while EV6 GT features the long-range battery pack only. This is Kia’s first electric vehicle to be available with two-wheel (2WD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) options – the latter offering enhanced dynamic capability in even the most challenging conditions.
The 2WD 77.4kWh EV6 can travel over 510 kilometres (316 miles) on a single charge on the WLTP combined cycle. With a maximum 605Nm torque available on the AWD version, the EV6 can accelerate from 0-to-100km/h in just 5.2 seconds. The 77.4kWh battery pack is paired with a 168kW (229ps) electric motor powering the rear wheels, and for AWD models two electric motors, powering the front and rear axles, produce a total of 239kW (325ps).
The 58.0kWh EV6 can accelerate from 0-to-100 km/h in 6.2 seconds, with a maximum 605Nm torque available on the AWD version. The 58.0kWh battery pack is paired with a 125kW electric motor powering the rear wheels; AWD models feature two electric motors, powering the front and rear axles and producing a combined 173kW (235ps).
Platform flexibility for electric performance
Kia’s new dedicated E-GMP reduces complexity through modularisation and standardisation, allowing rapid and flexible development of products with varied attributes. This flexible development can satisfy various customer needs for vehicle performance within a single model line like EV6.
Equipped with 430kW dual motors, the EV6 GT takes electric performance to another level. With a maximum 740Nm torque, the AWD GT version accelerates from 0-to-100km/h in an eye-watering 3.5 seconds and can reach a top speed of 260km/h (preliminary development targets). With the addition of electronic-Limited Slip Differential software to the EV6 GT version only, drivers will enjoy confident control and dynamic ride and handling in all conditions.
“The GT version of EV6 demonstrates our technological leadership through its combination of outstanding high-speed charging and acceleration performance like a super sports car. With our dedicated EV platform, there is no need for compromise between inspiring spaciousness and performance,” said Albert Biermann, President and Head of R&D Division for Hyundai Motor Group.
80 per cent charge in just 18 minutes
The EV6 offers 800V and 400V charging capabilities, without the need for additional components or adapters. The car is capable of a high-speed charge from 10 to 80 per cent in just 18 minutes on all variations or a top-up charge of 100km of driving range in less than four and a half minutes when pairing 2WD with the 77.4kWh battery option.
The car’s charging system is more flexible than previous generation BEVs thanks to an Integrated Charging Control Unit (ICCU). The ICCU enables a new vehicle-to-load (V2L) function, which is capable of discharging energy from the vehicle battery. The V2L function can supply up to 3.6kW of power and is capable, as an example, of operating a 55-inch television and air conditioner simultaneously for more than 24 hours. The system is also able to charge another EV, if needed.
With more than 35 per cent charge left in the battery, the EV6 can tow items weighing up to 1,600 kg. Together with the V2L function, EV6 owners can take everything they need on an outdoor adventure with friends and family and do it all with zero emissions.
Maximising driving range and efficiency
The EV6 is fitted with energy-recuperation technologies to maximise driving range. This includes Kia’s latest-generation energy-efficient heat pump, which scavenges waste heat from the car’s coolant system. This ensures that at minus seven degrees Celsius the car can achieve 80 per cent of the range that would be possible at 25 degrees Celsius.
Also featured is the latest generation of Kia’s smart regenerative braking system, which is operated by paddle shifters behind the steering wheel so drivers can quickly and easily slow the car and recuperate kinetic energy to maximise driving range and efficiency. Drivers 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 system’s ‘i-PEDAL’ driving mode also allows the car to harvest the maximum amount of energy from its brakes, and enables the driver to bring the car to a gentle halt without needing to push the brake pedal.
New connectivity and infotainment features for the EV age
EV6 introduces a suite of technologies that enhance safety, connectivity and infotainment. They are designed to make travelling safer, easier and less stressful.
The high-tech infotainment system includes 12-inch dual screens. Curved displays applied to EV6 have thin film panels that utilise new structure and advanced technology for reducing impact of light. The cluster and infotainment system are connected as if they were wrapped around one body with a reinforced glass. Extending from the steering wheel to the centre of the car, it displays a digital cluster in front of the driver, and infotainment system above the centre console.
The EV6 also features an augmented reality (AR) head-up display system, which projects driving information onto the base of the windscreen in the driver’s line of sight. The system displays alerts from the car’s Advanced Driver Assistance System, details of vehicle speed, and turn-by-turn navigation instructions.
A powerful 14-speaker Meridian® surround audio system is also available, a first for a Kia BEV and delivering a truly immersive sound experience. The 14-speaker audio system has been engineered by the experts at Meridian and features several of the British audio pioneer’s proprietary digital signal processing (DSP) technologies. Meridian’s core sound philosophy has been integrated into the EV6 allowing customers to enjoy natural, lifelike and authentic audio on the move.
The speaker system also offers Active Sound Design (ASD), a newly-developed feature by Kia which provides drivers with audible feedback to the speed that the car is travelling and controlled via a user interface.
Advanced Driver Assistance system with Remote Smart Parking Assist
The EV6 offers class-leading levels of safety and convenience thanks to its enhanced suite of driver assistance systems (ADAS). They help to reduce many of the inherent hazards and stresses of driving, protecting occupants and other road users on every journey.
Safe Exit Assist (SEA) helps people avoid collisions with a rear side vehicle when exiting EV6. When the occupant opens the door to exit the vehicle after a stop, the system provides a warning if an approaching vehicle from the rear side is detected. SEA also helps keep the rear door closed through operation of the electronic child lock.
Lane Following Assist (LFA) helps centre the vehicle in the lane. When driving, LFA can be switched on and off with the press of a button.
Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA 2) helps maintain a set distance and speed from the vehicle ahead when driving on a highway and also helps centre the vehicle in the lane, even through a curve. In case of an adjacent vehicle driving in close proximity, HDA 2 assists to adjust the EV6’s path, so to avoid any possible risk of collision. Also, with the driver’s hands on the steering wheel and above a certain speed, a click of the indicator stalk will move the car into the corresponding lane.
Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA) helps remotely park or exit a parking spot with the driver operating EV6 from outside the vehicle.
Pricing for the rear-wheel drive EV6 starts from £40,895. Sports-inspired EV6 GT-Line models start from £43,895 for rear-wheel drive models, and £47,395 for all-wheel drive variants. GT-Line S models, with additional standard equipment, are priced from £48,395 (rear-wheel drive) and £51,895 (all-wheel drive). UK customer deliveries of the new Kia EV6 will commence from October 2021 for baseline, GT-Line and GT-Line S models.
Leading the line-up, the high-performance EV6 GT model will feature all-wheel drive as standard when the first models are delivered to UK customers in the second half of 2022.
Kia’s first car based on the company’s dedicated new E-GMP (Electric-Global Modular Platform) technology, the EV6 is powered exclusively by electric energy. Every UK model features a long-range 77.4kWh battery pack. Ultra-fast 800V charging capabilities – standard on all models – allow the EV6 to recharge from 10 to 80 per cent battery charge in as little as 18 minutes from the fastest chargers.
Every version of the five-seat electric crossover will feature the curved panoramic display, with twin 12.3-inch touchscreens across the dashboard. This provides Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ integration as standard, as well as Kia’s ‘connected car’ UVO Connect system and a range of dedicated EV displays. A battery heat pump, designed to maximise driving range in sub-zero temperatures, is standard on the EV6 GT, and available as an option on GT-Line and GT-Line S models.
The Kia EV6 – from £40,895 (RWD)
The entry-level Kia EV6 is rear-wheel drive, powered by a 168kW motor on the rear axle (226bhp). This model offers the following feature highlights:
- Dark grey 19-inch alloy wheels with diamond-cut finish
- Electrically folding, adjustable and heated door mirrors
- LED headlights, rear lights and daytime running lights
- Black vegan leather upholstery
- Ambient lighting
- Heated front seats and steering wheel
- Dual automatic air conditioning
- Rear parking sensors
- Rain-sensing front wipers
- Engine Start/Stop button with Smart Entry System
- Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go
- Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (FCA) with city, pedestrian, cyclist and junction-turning functionality
- Highway Driving Assist
- Drive Mode Select
EV6 GT-Line – £43,895 (RWD) to £47,395 (AWD)
GT-Line models are expected to account for the highest proportion of EV6 sales in the UK, and are available with a choice of drivetrains. The rear-wheel drive model costs £43,895, and is offered with a 168kW (226bhp) rear motor. All-wheel drive models, from £47,395, producing a combined peak power output of 239kW (321bhp) from its dual-motor drivetrain.
Over and above the standard EV6, GT-Line models offer additional standard equipment:
- GT-Line exterior and interior styling
- Black 19-inch wheels with diamond-cut finish
- Black suede and light grey vegan leather two-tone upholstery
- Front parking sensors
- Premium relaxation seats (tilt-back front seats for a ‘NASA nap’ while charging)
- Memory driver and power front passenger seats
- Alloy driver pedals
- Vehicle-to-load (three-pin plug)
- Wireless smartphone charger
- Dual LED headlamps with adaptive driving beam
- Privacy glass
- Blind-Spot Collision Warning
EV6 GT-Line S – £48,395 (RWD) to £51,895 (AWD)
GT-Line S models also offer the same choice of rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations, and will be available from £48,395 and £51,895, respectively. A range of advanced technology features are offered as standard in GT-Line S models compared to GT-Line variants:
- 20-inch wheels with dark grey inserts
- Ventilated and heated front seats
- Heated outer rear seats
- Power Tailgate
- Panoramic sunroof with tilting and sliding functionality
- 14-speaker Meridian audio system
- Remote Smart Park Assist
- Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist
- Blind-Spot View Monitor
- Highway Driving Assist 2
- Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (with junction functionality)
- Augmented Reality (AR) head-up display
EV6 GT – on-sale in 2022 (AWD)
The range-topping GT model, due in the second half of 2022, features a powerful all-wheel drive system. Its 430kW dual-motor drivetrain offers a combined total power output of 577bhp. Kia engineers currently finalising the development of the EV6 GT are targeting a 3.5-second 0-to-62mph sprint. GT models include a range of additional features to maximise driving performance and enhance its presence on the road. These include:
- GT exterior styling (removes panoramic sunroof)
- 21-inch wheels
- Bucket seats, trimmed in black suede with neon green highlights (replace memory driver and power front passenger seats and premium relaxation seat functionality)
- Electronically controlled suspension
- Electronic limited-slip differential
- Drive Mode Integrated Control
- Battery heat pump
Check out the Kia EV6 Virtual driving centre here