The Kia EV6 electric crossover has made its official debut prior to its arrival in North America early next year.
This battery-electric crossover is the first Kia EV to use the automaker’s new dedicated electric vehicle platform (which it calls E-GMP) and will come standard with a 58 kWh lithium-ion battery, rear-wheel drive and a 167-horsepower electric motor. A long-range 77.4 kWh lithium-ion battery will also be available, giving the RWD model an estimated range of 510 kilometres on the overly generous European test cycle.
The regular Kia EV6 will also be available with all-wheel drive. When equipped with the long-range battery pack and the more powerful AWD motor, the EV6 will produce 320 horsepower and 446 pound-feet of torque, enabling it to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in just 5.2 seconds. Kia did not provide a range estimate for the long-range AWD model.
Performance enthusiasts, meanwhile, will be most interested in the EV6 GT model, which uses a dual-motor setup to produce 576 horsepower and 545 lb-ft of torque. These models will be able to hustle from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.5 seconds and will top out at 260 km/h. They will also come standard with special software that allows the electric motors to mimic the behaviour of a traditional Limited Slip Differential, improving the vehicle’s handling and driving feel.
All Kia EV6 models will utilize an 800V electric architecture with 400V charging capabilities. This will allow the long-range RWD version of the vehicle to charge from 10 per cent to 80 per cent capacity in just 18 minutes on an 800V system, while a top-up charge giving 100 kilometres of range will take just four and a half minutes. The battery can also be used to supply up to 3.6 kW of external power, giving it enough energy to power a 55-inch television and air conditioner simultaneously for more than 24 hours. Who needs a gas generator?
Tech enthusiasts are naturally attracted to electric vehicles like the Kia EV6, so the crossover has to deliver when it comes to in-car technology. The electric crossover comes standard with a widescreen display made of two curved 12-inch infotainment screens, which are joined by an augmented reality head-up display that projects colour graphics onto the road in the driver's line of sight. This augmented reality HUD is particularly handy when it comes to navigation, projecting directional arrows and other helpful wayfinding info directly onto the road.
Various active driving assistance systems will be offered, too, including the latest version of Kia's Highway Driving Assist. This system can speed up and slow down with the flow of traffic while maintaining a set distance from the vehicle in front and will also centre the vehicle in the lane and autosteer around curves. Highway Driving Assist is essentially a highly advanced version of adaptive cruise control with steering capabilities.
While a bit more svelte and sporty than some of Kia’s other crossovers, the EV6 still has plenty of room inside for passengers and their things. It has 520 litres of trunk space with the second-row seats folded up and 1,300 litres of capacity with the second row folded down. There’s also a front trunk (or frunk) that offers 52 litres of stowage in RWD models and 20 litres in AWD models.
The 2022 Kia EV6 and EV6 GT are set to go on sale in North America early next year. Canadian-specific details such as model availability and pricing should be released closer to its arrival here next year.