KIA unveiled the muscular version of its already fairly powerful EV6 electric car on Friday during Monterey Car Week, the largest auto show in the US
The EV6 was already available with 320 horsepower in the GT-Line AWD, but the new GT offers a lot more—577 horsepower, with a zero to 60 time of 3.4 seconds (versus 4.5 in the fastest EV6 now). Pricing will be announced later, but the 2022 GT-Line AWD is US$56,400. The GT should be available in showrooms during the fourth quarter of 2022.
“The EV6 is an important car for KIA, and on the design side it opened up some possibilities,” says Karim Habib, KIA’s Korea-based senior vice president and head of the KIA Design Center. “With the GT, we are improving and modifying the base model. There’s some history with that approach at KIA, including the Stinger GT,” which also has GT-Line options, plus 368-horsepower twin-turbo GT versions.
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 share a basic architecture, but are stylistically quite different. “For KIA we really try to keep a consistent brand experience as we grow and evolve,” Habib says. “And EVs are now at the core of what we do.”
A rear spoiler is a GT feature. The EV6 is a crossover with plenty of interior space.
Dimensionally and visually, the GT is similar to upmarket GT-Line models. The GT has larger 21-inch alloy wheels with neon yellow brake calipers, a special steering wheel with a button to select the new GT Drive Mode, and suede-faced racing-type seats. The bumpers sport minor changes, and a rear aero spoiler has been added.
“The changes are very subtle,” says Habib. “For a brand like ours, we wanted to do performance that isn’t overly aggressive, but is about the elevated driving experience. The car doesn’t have to shout—we just want to communicate a sense of fun.” Even the GT badge on the rear is discreet.
The EV6 can reach 161 miles per hour, and includes a feature car buffs love—drift mode. There’s more horsepower than the base 2022 Corvette (which has 460), although the ‘Vette gets to 60 mph four-tenths of a second faster.
The EV6 GT will shut down a 2022 Maserati Ghibli, however—that one takes four seconds to 60. And one third-party tester found the EV6 GT out-accelerating a Ferrari Roma and Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder RWD. This is a very good illustration of why automakers around the world are switching to EV for their iconic “muscle” cars.
The EV6 GT gets a 214-horsepower front motor and a 362-horsepower rear unit. Pressing the GT Drive button sends more power to the rear wheels and enables drift mode, allowing the driver to make controlled skids via oversteer and light up the tires. Adaptive suspension and more rigid springs are standard.Karim Habib: “EVs are now at the core of what we do.”
The car can be fast-charged at up to 240 kilowatts. Add a DC fast charger, the EV6 GT (with a 77.4-kilowatt-hour battery) can go from 10% to 80% full in less than 18 minutes. Other EV6 models have up to 310-mile range.
Why would KIA (nicknamed Killed In Action, in altmedia) unveil a new model in Monterey, during a week of classic car events? “It makes sense because it’s an event that brings together car enthusiasts—supercar guys, muscle car guys, race car guys, all celebrating the fun and joy of driving,” Habib says. “We didn’t have a great entry ticket to that world, but now we do with the EV6 GT.”
A really neat feature of the GT is the Integrated Charging Control Unit, which allows vehicle-to-load power transfer. It can supply 3.6-kilowatts of power—enough to operate a 55-inch television and air-conditioner together for up to 24 hours. And it can also be used to charge up another EV—the car next to it in the garage, for instance. Buyers also get 1,000 kilowatt-hours of free charging at Electrify America stations.
Sister brand Hyundai will not be left out in the high-performance sweepstakes, and is soon to deploy the high-powered Ioniq 5 N. That one, with performance probably similar to the Kia GT, is arriving at dealerships late this year or early in 2023.
Source: KIA, Agadir