LAS VEGAS. In January, we got our first chance to drive Kia’s new EV6 electric car. Built on Hyundai Motor Group’s excellent new E-GMP platform, the EV6 immediately impressed us, offering a less polarizing design and more fun to drive than the impressive Hyundai Ioniq 5 . Designed as a dedicated EV platform, the E-GMP has an 800V battery. a package that allows fast charging and rear and all-wheel drive can achieve excellent levels of performance.
On that first drive, and then on local roads over the summer, my time in the EV6 confirmed the wisdom of Hyundai Motor Group in hiring Albert Biermann away from BMW to handle the Korean automaker’s R&D programs. But now Kia has turned the dial to 11 with the new $61,400 EV6 GT, a limited-edition version that can outrun some Ferraris and Lamborghinis and hang with the best of them on racetracks.
Between the EV6 GT’s axles you’ll find the same 77.4kWh (gross capacity) battery pack as the other EV6s; the company discontinued the version with smaller batteries (EV6 Light) due to very low demand. But in the EV6 GT, that battery will now feed much more power to a pair of electric motors driving the front and rear wheels. There’s a total of 576 hp (430 kW) plus 545 lb-ft (738 Nm) of torque, split between a 215 hp (160 kW) front and a 362 hp (270 kW) rear engine. engine with electronic limited slip differential.
To put that power down, the EV6 GT rides on 21-inch wheels shod with Goodyear Eagle F1 tires. And to curb it again, although Kia has increased the amount of regenerative braking from 0.3 G to 0.4 G, the EV6 GT is also fit to be equipped with large, ventilated disc brakes (15-inch front, 14.2-inch rear). front.rear) with monobloc calipers in selected neon green paint. The car runs electronically controlled dampers with revised spring rates and steering settings compared to the smaller EV6s, and there are unique front suspension components as well as new traction and stability control algorithms that make this car quite fun to drive.
To access all that power and torque, you have to press the neon green GT button on the steering wheel; this unlocks 576 horsepower and places the electronic safety net in its indulgent position. In Eco mode, the EV6 GT sends just 287 hp (214 kW) to the engines, mostly to the rear engine for better efficiency. In Normal and Sport modes, the battery increases the motors maximum output to 429 hp (320 kW), which is enough to make it a quick EV despite the not-insignificant curb weight of 5,732 lb (2,600 kg). (This also explains the large brakes.)
But if you press the green button and you have at least a 70 percent charge, the car unlocks all 576 horsepower. On the drag strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the EV6 GT easily ran an 11.5-second quarter-mile time, crossing the line at 118 mph (190 km/h). Kia claims a 0-60 mph (0-98 km/h) time of 3.4 seconds, a tenth of a second faster than rivals such as the Tesla Model Y Performance and the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT. n, and the EV6 GT will continue to accelerate. until the speed limiter engages at 161 mph (260 km/h).
On the track, I was able to properly explore the looser handling in GT mode and found a car that would slide quite easily, but which was easy to grip. The suspension was able to handle the curbs, although it’s true that the road course in the LVMS is smooth and the curbs are smooth and the teeth are not miserable. A warm-up lap in Sport mode followed by laps in GT mode confirm just how fast the latter is. And you’ll be happy to know that the brakes work well, although you do notice the car’s mass on the track when it’s time to slow down.