The 2022 Kia EV6 will range from mild 168-hp model to wild 577-hp GT trim when it arrives later this year.
Kia early Tuesday released a deluge of information on its upcoming EV6 electric vehicle. The EV6 will herald a new era for the Korean company, as the brand’s first dedicated EV and—in GT trim—the quickest, most powerful production Kia ever.
With the EV6 running on the same dedicated E-GMP platform as the Hyundai Ioniq 5, we expected the battery figures to match up. They do, at least in their capacities: a 58-kWh standard-range and 77.4-kWh long-range battery are available. Both come in either rear- or all-wheel drive formats, too.
For EV6 and EV6 GT-line, the standard-range rear-drive model features a 168-horsepower electric motor, with 258 lb-ft of torque. Those numbers swell to 232 hp and 446 lb-ft for the AWD standard-range models. Opting for the 77.4-kWh battery pack translates to 225 or 321 hp, respectively. (Torque remains unchanged on long-range models).
The E-GMP platform runs on 800-volt architecture, allowing for DC fast charging. Finding such a source of electrons will allow EV6 to go from 10 to 80 percent of charge in as few as 18 minutes. Adding 62 miles (100 km) of range can be done in 270 seconds.
EV6 will also be able to provide power for electronics thanks to its vehicle-to-load (V2L) system. Kia is still hammering out the details on this one, only stating that the adapters are likely to vary between regions. Provided it has more than a third of remaining battery, the EV6 can tow up to 3,500 lb (1600 kg).
Kia is targeting a single-charge range of over 315 miles (510 km) for the long-range rear-drive EV6. By comparison, the Ford Mustang Mach-E can run as far as 305 miles with its larger 88-kWh battery pack in California Route 1 form—though it also produces 290 hp.
In a surprise move, Kia also announced an EV6 GT trim on Tuesday. This high-performance model gains more powerful electric motors at both ends, resulting in a combined AWD output of 577 horsepower and 546 lb-ft of torque. Preliminary estimates peg the GT at a 3.5 seconds to 62 mph (100 km/h), and a top speed of 162 mph (260 km/h). Those figures are comfortably enough to make the EV6 the most powerful production Kia ever. The GT also gains an electronic-limited slip differential.
More power does mean less range, however. We asked Kia how far the EV6 GT will run on a single charge, and the response is a targeted 230 miles of range on the harsher US testing cycle, or 405 km for the European WLTP cycle.
We’ve had two weeks to take in the EV6’s exterior and interior design since it first debuted. Kia calls the new design language “Opposites United.” Global design head Karim Habib says the EV6 is “a showcase of human-centered, progressive design and electrified power.” We went more in-depth on the design in the original EV6 debut article. About the car’s unique shape—not quite a crossover, not quite a car—Habib explains:
“You can think of it as a crossover, but the crossover between what is maybe less clear. And that’s a little bit the point. We really wanted to create a typology that feels familiar, but at the same time is something new. You have the presence of something closer to a crossover, but on the other hand you have the gesture of something more akin to a sports car, you know—cab-rearward, with the floating roof. We believe it’s something in-between.”
For a better idea of the size of the EV6: at around 184.5 inches long (4,685 mm), it is nearly 9 inches (228 mm) shorter than the Kia K5, yet features a wheelbase 2 inches (50 mm) longer.
The new design ethos carries over inside, with flowing shapes and sharp angles coming together for a smart, airy cabin. In a prepared video, Jochen Paesen, VP of interior design, said a modern interior is “not just about putting a big screen on the dashboard.” Nonetheless, a large curved screen pulls double duty as the instrument panel and central infotainment. Below it is a row of haptic-feedback touchscreen buttons, and the “floating” center console. The latter houses the rotary drive selector. The seats will come in one of the three materials: recycled PET plastic, vegan leather, and flaxseed oil-tanned leather.
Multiple tech goodies will make their Kia debut in the EV6 later this year. For starters, an augmented reality head-up display helps guide drivers through navigation directions. A 14-speaker Meridian sound system is available, which also includes Active Sound Design. According to Kia, the latter “provides drivers with audible feedback to the speed that the car is travelling.”
UVO is dead. In its place is Kia Connect, the latest evolution of the brand’s infotainment system, capable of over-the-air (OTA) updates.
A gaggle of driver assist systems will naturally be a part of the EV6 experience. These include lane following, Safe Exit Assist, remote parking, and Highway Driving Assist 2. The latest evolution of HDA adds automated lane changes to the range of adaptive cruise control functions: drivers only need to signal to initiate a change. And keep their hands on the wheel, of course.
Kia hasn’t announced 2022 EV6 pricing yet. However, we do know it will arrive in the second half of the year. Given its close proximity in specs to the Ford Mustang Mach-E, including a hi-po model of its own, we expect the EV6 will start below $40,000 ($50,000 CAD) before any incentives. We wouldn’t expect much change back from $60,000 ($75,000) for the 577-hp GT. More details on pricing will arrive closer to launch.
Discuss this story at our Kia EV6 forum.
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