We’ve seen the official images, and now it has properly made its debut – enter the Kia EV6, the brand’s first fully electric vehicle built on a dedicated Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) electric vehicle architecture and which is the carmaker’s first part of its transition into electrification.
The dedicated E-GMP platform reduces complexity through a modular and standardised approach, thus enabling rapid and flexible development of a range of products, says Kia.
Three variants are offered here – the base EV6, EV6 GT-Line and the EV6 GT. The new, fully electric model measures 4,680 mm long (4,695 mm for the GT-Line and GT) with a 2,900 mm wheelbase, 1,890 mm wide and 1,550 mm tall (1,545 mm for the GT), and boasts of 520 litres of boot space, or 1,300 litres with the rear seats folded.
The front luggage compartment holds 20 litres in AWD guise and 52 litres in 2WD form in non-North American market models, or 20 litres in both AWD and 2WD forms for North American market units.
On the powertrain front, the base-variant EV6 and the EV6 GT-Line are both available with standard-range and long-range battery packs, each with either rear- or all-wheel-drive, while the top GT variant comes exclusively with the long-range battery pack and all-wheel-drive.
The base EV6 and EV6 GT-Line variants in base 2WD, standard-range 58.0 kWh battery form are rated at 125 kW (168 hp) and 350 Nm of torque from the rear axle motor, while the standard-range AWD powertrain with the same battery is rated at 173 kW (232 hp) and 605 Nm of torque combined from its front- and rear-axle motors.
Stepping up to the long-range 77.4 kWh battery yields 168 kW (225 hp) and 350 Nm from the single-motor RWD layout, or 239 kW (320 hp) and 605 Nm of torque of combined output from its front and rear motors. Topping the range is the EV6 GT with its twin-motor AWD, 77.4 kWh battery configuration that yields 430 kW (577 hp) and 740 Nm of combined outputs.
In 2WD, long-range battery form, the base EV6 is rated for a range of 510 km on the WLTP cycle, according to Kia. In terms of performance, the base EV6 with AWD and the 58.0 kWh battery does 0-100 km/h in 6.2 seconds, while the one with the 77.4 kWh battery does the same in 5.2 seconds.
The top EV6 GT variant does the benchmark sprint in 3.5 seconds, and a top speed of 260 km/h. When the EV6 has more than 35% charge in its battery, it can tow up to 1,600 kg, says Kia.
Its 800-volt electrical arhictecture allows the EV6 to receive ultra-fast charging without the need for additional adapters or components, says Kia; in its 2WD and long-range 77.4 kWh battery specification, the EV6 can be recharged from 10% to 80% state-of-charge in just 18 minutes, or an added 100 km of battery range in less than four and a half minutes.
An integrated charging control unit (ICCU) in the EV6 charging system enables a vehicle-to-load (V2L) function, which can supply 3.6 kW, otherwise equivalent to operating a 55-inch television and an air-conditioner for more than 24 hours, or recharge another electric vehicle if required, according to Kia.
Even without the driveline of a conventional, internal combustion powertrain, the EV6 nonetheless features shift paddles behind its steering wheel for the driver to select from six levels of energy recuperation – including automatic and i-Pedal modes – from the electric powertrain. The i-Pedal mode essentially enables one-pedal driving, where maximum regenerative braking is employed and the driver can gently slow the EV6 to a halt without using the brake pedal.
Digital displays in the cabin of the EV6 come in the form of two 12-inch screens, which are curved and utilise advanced technology to reduce the ‘impact of light’, or glare.
The driver’s instrument panel and infotainment screen are linked by a single, reinforced glass panel that extends from the steering wheel to the centre of the dashboard. An augmented reality head-up display projects visual images for the driver on the windscreen. The HUD offers information from the vehicle’s advanced driver assistance system, speed and turn-by-turn navigation instructions.
The latest version of Kia Connect – previously named Uvo – offers real-time connected car services and over-the-air software updates, and enables the finding of locations and pricing of EV charging points, viewing of the vehicle’s charging status, planning of charging schedules and range radius based on remaining charge.
Available on the EV6 specification list is a 14-speaker surround sound system by Meridian, which includes active sound design which Kia says “provides drivers with audible feedback” for the speed the car is travelling at, and which can be controlled through a user interface.
Advanced driver assistance systems in the EV6 includes Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA 2), which essentially combines adaptive cruise control with lane keeping assistance, even when driving along a curved section of highway.
Highway Driving Assist 2 in the EV6 will also adjust its path when an adjacent vehicle is detected to be close by, in order to avoid any potential collision. Once travelling at more than a certain speed, the driver of the EV6 can summon a lane change by just activating the vehicle’s indicator.
When parking, the EV6 also features remote smart parking assist (RSPA) that enables the driver to remotely drive the EV6 into or out of a parking spot from outside the vehicle. Advanced assistance systems in the EV6 also help when the vehicle is parked; the Safe Exit Assist (SEA) helps occupants avoid collisions with vehicles approaching from behind when disembarking from the EV6 by providing warnings.
Made in South Korea, the Kia EV6 will go on sale in selected global markets from the second half of this year, and buyers in selected markets can make online reservations for the fully-electric crossover from today, says Kia. The EV6 will be followed by a slew of battery-electric vehicles that will come to a total of 11 models by 2026; seven will be on the new E-GMP platform and four will be derived from existing models, it said.
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