Kia’s EV6 GT packs 576 electric horses, goes 161 mph
Think Hyundai’s N sub-brand is the only Korean nameplate allowed to have fun? Sister company Kia would like a word: Meet the EV6 GT, a high-performance variant of the stylish EV that you may have seen prowling around streets near you. To show just how serious it is about stepping into the performance ring, Kia chose to debut the EV6 GT at The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering—which plays host to a raft of new concepts and performance machinery (ordinarily from elite brands like Bentley and Bugatti) each year during Monterey Car Week.
The EV6 GT will utilize the same E-GMP platform that underpins the normal EV6 as well as Hyundai’s wicked-cool Ioniq 5. It cribs the larger of the two battery packs (77.4 kWh) that are offered on the normal EV6, and while range is decidedly down (206 miles on the EV6 GT vs. 310 miles on ordinary EV6 variants), the focus is on pure performance here.
To that end, the EV6 GT will produce 576 hp and 546 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful Kia production vehicle to date. Two electric motors (a 160-kW (214-hp) unit up front and a 270-kW (362-hp) unit on the rear wheels) will dole out power. Kia claims a 3.4-second 0–60 mph time and says that its hotshot EV bested a Ferrari Roma and a Lamborghini Huracán Evo in independently-verified drag races. Top speed is 161 mph.
To nab that kind of performance, a host of changes were required. Kia’s engineers thoroughly reworked the EV6 platform, stiffening the chassis, adding electronically-controlled dampers, tossing in a new steering box with a quicker ratio, and adding hardware like an electronic limited-slip differential, unique front suspension components, and much larger disc brakes (15 inches up front and 14.2 inches in the rear) with quad-piston front calipers. A new integrated drive axle combines the wheel bearings and the driveshaft that Kia says enhances durability and handling.
There are three new drive modes introduced on the EV6 GT that other EV6 models don’t get: Drift Mode will send power to the rear wheels exclusively for tail-out antics. GT Mode, activated by the push of a button on the steering wheel, will set parameters for the electric motors, the braking, the steering, the suspension, that electric LSD, and more to maximum attack for the most spirited of drives. My Drive Mode will allow you to individually configure a host of the aforementioned driver parameters for your goldilocks settings. These modes join Normal, Eco, Sport, and Snow from the more sedate EV6s.
Kia’s styling department also got to have some fun with the EV6 GT. Body-wise, the performance EV will sport unique front and rear fasciae as well as a neat rear spoiler and diffuser. Massive 21-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Z-rated Goodyear Eagle F1 tires shroud the beefy brakes, which have neon green calipers. Inside, suede- and synthetic leather-trimmed sport bucket seats will hold driver and passenger tight while you flit about canyon roads or a road course. Neon green accents will adorn the cabin as well.
The EV6 GT will offer 400-volt and 800-volt DC charging architecture that enables depleted cars to recoup 70 percent of the battery’s charge in under 18 minutes on a 350-kW DC fast charger. Like many other EVs today, the EV6 GT can also lend its juice to smaller appliances through vehicle-to-load (V2L) functionality.
Kia says that the EV6 GT will appear at dealerships nation wide in Q4 of this year. Pricing details will arrive closer to the launch date, but Kia did mention that all EV6 buyers will receive 1000 kWH of charging through the Electrify America charging network, which will come at no cost over a three-year period. If this thing is as fun to drive as Kia says, buyers will be making the most of that free juice.