Just after one month since the launch of IONIQ 5 that set new standards with futuristic styling, incredibly fast charging speed, and outstanding range, Kia is now attempting to steal the limelight from its sister company with its own version of the state-of-the-art E-GMP based dedicated electric vehicle.
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In its world premiere that took place on March 30, 2021, Kia EV6 shocked the world with the introduction of the GT variant that took on who’s who of supercars like Lamborghini Urus and McLaren 570S in 400 m drag race, closely coming in second after McLaren.
Based on the same Electric-Global Modular Platform as the IONIQ 5, Kia's all-new EV6 becomes the brand's next step into the electrified future. The brand’s new dedicated electric crossover promises impressive numbers, including up to 316 miles of range, 577 hp, and 800-volt fast charging that adds 62 miles of range in just 4.5-seconds.
2023 Kia EV6
The EV6 employs Kia's all-new "Opposites United" design language, which aims to mimic the contrasts found in nature by contrasting smooth, sculptural shapes with sharper cues. This contrast can be readily seen upfront, where the new “digital tiger face” fascia with sharp wing-like headlamps underpin the voluminous arches of the hood. At the rear, the taillights cut sharply around the corners toward the wheel arches, continuing along the trajectory as character lines that jump the wheels and become thick contrast side sills.
The EV6 comes powered by an incredible selection of all-electric options, including 2 battery types, 77.4-kWh long-range and 58-kWh standard range. The batteries can be mated to two drivetrain configurations, rear-wheel-drive rear-motor setup, or all-wheel-drive dual-motor setup.
The combination of the front and rear motors with different power outputs, drivetrains, and battery packs is integrated into a total of 3 trims and 4 variants, namely Base Standard-Range, Base Long-Range, GT-Line, and GT. With each variation offering both rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive, except for the GT, which is only available in all-wheel-drive, there is a total of 7 possible permutations of the EV6 lineup.
In February 2021, the IONIQ 5 broke all sorts of record when it took in the reservation with nearly 24,000 units on the first day of the launch in the native Korean market, as well as selling out of the initial 3,000 units for Europe from over 230,000 inquiries... Well, Kia pretty much replicated the feat by taking in more than 21,000 units on its first day on March 31 in Korea.
The base model is the only trim that can be optioned with either a 58-kWh standard-range battery or a 77.4-kWh long-range battery pack. And either battery pack and be configured with both rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive. The standard range, 58-kWh rear-wheel-drive single motor puts out up to 168 hp and the range is reported to be 218 miles or 350 km. Add the front motor to gain all-wheel-drive capability and the power output increases to 232-hp. This setup sprints to 0-62 mph or 100 km/h in 6.2 seconds.
If you opt for the 77.4-kWh long-range battery, your power becomes 225-hp as rear-wheel-drive and 321-hp as all-wheel-drive. It’s the long-range rear-wheel-drive model that delivers the longest range with the estimate of 316 miles or 510 km WLTP. Although no official acceleration number is published for the rear-wheel-drive long-range model, the 0-62 speed was 7.4-seconds for the similarly configured IONIQ 5 rear-wheel-drive long-range. Add the front motor and the respective all-wheel-drive and your power output jump to 321-hp. This is quite a bit more than the IONIQ 5 all-wheel-drive, long-range model’s 302 combined horsepower, but the 0-62 mph time is still the same at 5.2-seconds. With this, we can assume that Kia’s version is a heavier car, although no official weight information has been published.
Kia EV6 3-trim Levels
But not to worry, some differences in the weight can easily be offset by the GT’s astonishing combined power of 577-hp and 546 lb-ft of torque! The range-topping EV6 GT has a pair of electric motors wired up to the long-range battery, and an all-wheel-drive to deliver a supercar-like performance of 0-62 sprint in 3.5 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 162-mph or 260-km/h. Not only that, the GT offers better handling and control due to an electronic limited-slip differential (E-LSD), electronic stability control, and 21-inch wheels fitted with the exclusive Michelin Pilot 4-S performance tires. It also offers GT-only sport bucket seats covered with Alcantara, which is also used liberally throughout the cabin with the signature neon-green stitching. The GT model also offers the Hyundai group’s latest Highway Driving Assist 2 self-driving autonomy as part of Kia’s enhanced suite of driver assistance systems.
The level-2 self-autonomy is also available on the GT-Line trim Essentially the long-range model in terms of the mechanicals, the GT-line offers goodies such as a sport interior with Alcantara covering and D-cut steering wheel and the appearance package that’s similar to that of the GT trim. It also adds sporty 20-inch wheels exclusive to the GT-line trim and an intelligent headlamp system like the GT trim.
Like the Ioniq 5, the EV6 comes with integrated 800- and 400-V charging capabilities without a need for adapters. Kia says that an 800-V hookup will send the battery from 10 to 80 percent in as little as 18 minutes on all EV6 variants, adding 62 miles or 100 km of range to the 77.4-kWh rear-wheel-drive model in four and a half minutes. An integrated charging control unit gives the car vehicle-to-load or V2L capability, allowing it to supply charge to another EV or, as an example, power both a 55-in television and air conditioner for over 24 hours. Also, so long as the charge remains above 35 percent, the EV6 can tow up to 3,527 lb or 1,600 kg.
Between charges, there is a six-mode paddle shift-activated regenerative braking system to get the most life out of the battery pack. The system's i-Pedal mode harvests the maximum amount of energy from the brakes, allowing the driver to bring the car to a gentle stop without touching the brake pedal.
Also, the EV6 is equipped with a Disconnector Actuator System or DAS that can separate or connect the motor and the drive shaft according to the driving situation and freely switch between rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive driving methods to minimize unnecessary power loss and ensure efficient driving.
Inside, EV6 occupants will find a roomy cabin fronted by a curved widescreen that houses two 12-in displays showing gauge info and Kia Connect infotainment. Behind the thin LCD panels, the augmented reality H-U-D puts driver-assistance alerts, vehicle speed info, and turn-by-turn navigation right in the driver's line of sight.
The EV6 also offers class-leading levels of safety and convenience thanks to its enhanced suite of driver assistance systems that also includes Safe Exit Assist, Lane Following Assist, remote smart parking, and aforementioned highway driving assist 2 feature, which is available from the GT-line trim and up.
While it may vary by market, the EV6 will be available in 11 colors. But GT and GT-Line will have a more limited color palette that includes red, white, silver, black and blue.
Pre-reservation has already started in some parts of the world including Korea and Europe. A month ago, in February 2021, the IONIQ 5 broke all sorts of record when it took in the reservation with nearly 24,000 units on the first day of the launch in the native Korean market, as well as selling out of the initial 3,000 units for Europe from over 230,000 inquiries.
Hyundai Ioniq 5
Well, Kia pretty much replicated the feat by taking in more than 21,000 units on its first day on March 31 in Korea. This accounted for 162% of the annual target, which was 13,000 units! Although nominally the numbers did not exceed that of the IONIQ 5’s 24,000 units, this is more impressive because the EV6 will not be available until the fall of 2021 or even next year, in the case of the 577-hp GT trim. Proportionally, the GT trim only accounted for 4.6%, however, with 10.3% accounting for the standard-range base model, along with 64.5% for the long-range base model and 20.6% for the GT-line trim, which is also a long-range model. So, if this is any indication of how the general population prefers their EV6 throughout the world, a whopping 85% will choose the long-range version with the base trim accounting for most of it. Whatever the case, with the plan production of only 30,000 units in 2021 and 100,000 units even in 2022 for the whole world, the supply will be very tight.
The production of the EV6 is expected to start in July with deliveries in Q3 2021 for the base and GT-line models. The supercar-like GT model is expected to be available from next year after September 2022. As for the price, in Korea, the base standard-range model starts at the USD equivalent of $43,800, the long-range model at $47,800, the GT-line model at $52,700, and the GT model at a surprisingly reasonable $63,700. It’s hard to tell whether Kia is a better value than the IONIQ 5 because both products offer different power and features, but we somehow get the feeling that the 577-hp GT model represents the best value.
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