Video test – Kia EV6 GT: the Land of the Morning Calm gets excited

Who would have thought, ten years ago, when Kia’s production was limited to a low-cost, bland and technically little evolved offer, that it would give birth in 2022 to a 100% electric monster of almost 600 hp at the peak? of technology and the concept car line? And yet, it does exist, this Kia EV6 GT, and we went to Sweden to try it.

Big news for the Kia EV6 at the moment since its range is seen garnished at the ends by a new entry-level, with 170 hp and a 58 kWh battery that we will not fail to try next time, and by a figurehead, the GT, which we were promised since the release of the model last year.

This GT, we start by recognizing it with certain aesthetic elements, in particular at the level of the front and rear shields slightly redesigned to be more aggressive. But what is most striking are the specific large 21-inch rims that hide the neon green calipers excessively badly, making them very Porsche electrified. We find this color inside with small touches, as well as some GT logos, but above all pretty bucket seats covered with alcantara promising support and comfort.

So far, it’s pretty nice, but not really enough to get up at night. Until we take a look at the spec sheet. Because here is a Kia like you’ve never seen. Admittedly, it uses the e-GMP platform and the 800 V architecture, but all the sliders have been pushed to 11, as we say in Spın̈al Tap: each set of wheels is entitled to its engine, the front one produces 218 hp as on the EV6 4×4 325 hp, the one behind, specific, 367 hp, and the combination of the two reaches 585 hp and 740 Nm! Look no further, this is quite simply the most powerful production Kia ever! The 0 to 100 km / h is only a formality since it is dispatched in 3.5 s and the acceleration only stops once the 260 km / h is reached. We will not validate this second figure in this test, but we had the opportunity to check the first on a track dedicated to exercise. The day before, Kia recorded a best time of 3.28 s and, on our side, we did only slightly worse with 3.32 s.

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However, let’s be honest: electrics that panic the stopwatch in a straight line, everyone seems to know how to do it these days and the real challenge comes when you start to turn the steering wheel. And there, on paper, Kia has done its homework correctly and at all levels: piloted suspensions, electronic limited-slip differential, more direct steering and large brakes with 380 mm discs at the front and 360 mm at the rear. against 345 at the four corners on the others EV6. And in reality, what does it give? Again, the South Korean manufacturer gave us all the means to allow us to push the limits of the GT in its last intrenchments by putting a circuit at our disposal before even trying it on open roads. The large bath directly, therefore.

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Sport mode engaged at first, which acts on the suspensions, the electronic differential, the direction, the electronic control of the trajectory and the response to the accelerator, so we left on a track that is more like a turnstile by its length than by its width. Characteristics which consequently add an additional difficulty to a vehicle with such a long wheelbase. And yet, the EV6 GT pulls it off incredibly, defying the laws of physics with an agility that its mass shouldn’t allow for 2,200 reasons. No surprise for the very muscular hairpin exits thanks to the traditional torque available instantly to which we are now accustomed, but wide-eyed for the ground connections. We are indeed accustomed on electric vehicles with a dynamic vocation to excessively firm suspensions, which certainly offers brutal efficiency in curves, but which does not leave much leeway to correct once the limits have been reached and is paid cash in terms of comfort. . But Kia chooses a different approach which is reminiscent, all things considered, of the Alpine school, and, more prosaically, the Renault Mégane E-Tech, by leaving a few degrees of roll in downforce, which not only has the good taste to inform the driver a little more of the grip he can still demand from the four Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S in 255 wide and to preserve the vertebrae in more peaceful driving. Better yet, the DGL and the ESP allow the rear axle to shift slightly on the outside, which, despite the all-wheel drive, gives a delicious little taste of propulsion. The steering may not yet reach the purity of the best thermals in the field, but it is one of the most pleasant that we have ever tried on an electric. As for the generous braking, the profile of the circuit with relatively low speeds reached did not allow us to make it sweat. Let’s end this paragraph with congratulations to the bucket seats which not only have the good taste to hold their occupant when it squirms, but also to be installed very low, with a seat flush with the floor.

And the GT mode specific to this version, you ask me rightly? It is that of hooligans, to be advised only on closed roads. The electronics then offer astonishing freedom, to the point that one comes to wonder if the front engine has not returned to Seoul as one must be ready to counter-steer as soon as one combines lateral support and ankle stretched right. However, there remains a last mode, even more permissive, soberly titled “drift” and which, as its name suggests, allows the rear tires to smoke with relative help from the traction control systems, in case you would be nostalgic for the greenhouse gas emissions of thermal cars. Is it really essential? Probably not, but let’s bet that it will feed some (quick) conversations at the Ionity terminals.

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It is then time to confront this EV6 GT with reality by taking it on open roads, with the need to immediately adjust to the speed limits as the Swedish roads are rich in radars. However, there is no need to exceed them to rediscover a certain dynamic driving pleasure, in a quiet force manner, with constant thoughtfulness and imperturbable behavior even on poor quality tarmac. In addition, and this is where this EV6 totally deserves the two additional letters attached to its name, we find in Comfort mode the softness of the EV6, even if the 255 tires purr a little more in the passenger compartment. Comfortable when you want it, agile if you want it, yes, it deserves its GT name. The icing on the cake, you can also tow up to 1,800 kg, or 200 more than the other EV6s!

On the autonomy side, it’s less famous: you have to pay for these performances at some point and above all a higher overweight, a good part of this additional mass coming from the 21-inch rims. According to the WLTP cycle, we can therefore only travel 424 km in one charge despite a battery with a generous capacity of 77.4 kWh, against 506 km for a 4×4 325 hp in 19 inches! In reality however, if the idea amuses you of practicing eco-driving on a monster close to 600 hp, know that this GT knows how to do it and even very well thanks to its paddles on the steering wheel allowing you to adjust the regeneration on 5 levels. Enough to easily exceed 500 km in one charge with a minimum of experience if we are to believe the on-board computer.

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But 424 km or not, is it that bad when you can charge like theEV6 ? Not really. It takes 7:20 a.m. on an 11 kW alternating current source, but above all 18 minutes to go from 10 to 80% load on the fastest direct current terminals, since it can withstand up to 239 kW. Our route took us through an Ionity station where we mostly stopped to take a picture as we were at 50% load but saw 234kW of power up to 60% load before the curve finally don’t sag! What’s more, a big novelty in recent weeks, which owners have been clamoring for: this GT, like all the EV6 now has a battery preconditioning system. When a charging station is selected as a destination in the navigation, the battery is preheated to arrive at the charging point at an ideal temperature of between 20 and 22°C. More good news, and it’s information you read first on Automobile Propre: Tesla is currently updating its V3 Superchargers to finally allow the Korean (and its cousin the Hyundai Ioniq 5 ) to connect to sites open to other brands.

Let’s end with the pain. Displayed from €72,990, the Kia EV6 GT claims almost €9,000 more than the 4×4 325 GT Line version, which does not seem expensive paid for 260 additional hp, more character and some specific aesthetic elements . On the other hand, at this level of performance, there are some great customers on the market, starting with the Tesla Model Y Performance sold for €69,990. Moreover, and even if it is not a crossover but a sedan, the BMW i4 M50 sails in the same financial waters with a price of 73,750 €. The Korean has nothing to be ashamed of either, whatever the field, but it still gives food for thought.

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