What is it?
Kia’s unlikely replacement for the Stinger. In a sign of the times the twin-turbo V6 sports sedan has been superseded by an all-electric SUV, but if that doesn’t impress you the statistics will.
The Kia EV6 GT is, by far, the most powerful vehicle Kia has ever offered, making 430kW of power and 740Nm of torque. That should give you an idea of just how serious the South Korean brand is about taking on the biggest
Does it have any racing pedigree?
Kia (and parent company, Hyundai) have stayed away from electric motorsport so far, but don’t mistake that for not understanding high-performance EV technology. Under the guidance of former Hyundai-Kia Group R&D boss, ex-BMW M man Albert Biermann, the auto giant has developed countless electric prototypes over recent years, including the 596kW/960Nm RM20e concept in 2020 that previewed this type of technology.
What’s under the bonnet?
The EV6 GT has a dual-motor powertrain, with one electric motor on each axle for all-wheel drive performance. As mentioned earlier, the GT punches out an impressive 430kW and 740Nm, which is a massive 80 per cent more power than the next most powerful EV6 model.
That’s also enough for the GT to launch from 0-100km/h in 3.5 seconds, which for context is actually quicker than a Lamborghini Urus and Jaguar F-Type V8.
It feels every bit that quick on the road too, despite the fact the EV6 is very much a spacious SUV that can accommodate five occupants. As with most EVs, the near-instant torque delivery means anytime you put your foot down the GT will surge forward with urgency and some drama.
How does it handle?
It’s a genuinely quick and thrilling car in a straight line, but for the EV6 GT to be a true performance car it needs to acquit itself well in the corners too. Which it does surprisingly well for a vehicle of its size, with direct and responsive handling. No, it’s not the most agile car and doesn’t feel dynamic in the same way as the Stinger, but it is engaging and fun to drive.
Having the batteries mounted in the floor does help the handling, keeping the weight low in the car for a better centre-of-gravity. However, having the batteries in the car, particularly ones that provide up to 424km of driving range, means the EV6 GT is heavy. It tips the scales at more than 2000kg with the batteries 479kg of that, and that inevitably leads to compromises.
In the case of the EV6 GT that compromise is the suspension, which is simply much too firm for daily use in Australia. Ordinarily you might suggest it’s a European, track-focused tune for smooth roads like they have there, but Kia Australia was involved in the process and did test it in local conditions.
The problem is likely just physics, it’s just so difficult to control so much mass and find a balance between handling and compliance. The result is the GT is borderline uncomfortable at times, feeling much too busy on urban roads.
Where would you most like to drive it?
As a result of this firm ride, the ideal environment for the EV6 GT is a nice, smooth racetrack. – even if an electric SUV is an unlikely track day car. The smoother surface would help you feel more comfortable and it would allow you to unleash the pull potential of the electric motors without worrying about getting in trouble with the law.
What’s the interior like?
The interior is a nice upgrade on the standard EV6 cabin, with sports seats and GT-specific yellow/green highlights on the seats, steering wheel and switchgear (that matches the brake calipers).
While the seats themselves are comfortable and supportive, the most noticeable element is the volume of space inside the EV6 GT. Externally it has the dimensions of a mid-size SUV but inside it has the room of a larger model.
It’s not perfect though, and like so many other brand’s, Kia’s digital instrument graphics need to rethink their designs. The EV6 GT dashboard just simply doesn’t make clear sense, with the speedo bar moving away from you in a very hard-to-read manner. Thankfully there is a digital speed readout but it just makes for a messy and complicated display.
How much does the Kia EV6 GT cost?
All this new-generation electric performance doesn’t come cheap, with the EV6 GT starting at $99,590 (plus on-road costs). That’s certainly a big ask for a Kia, but it’s about $300,000 less than a Lamborghini Urus that isn’t quite as quick 0-100km/h as the EV6 GT and isn’t quite as spacious.
It’s also good value when you consider the EV6 GT only costs 13 per cent more than the next most expensive and powerful model in the range – the EV6 GT-Line AWD – despite having 80 per cent more power. So the bang-for-buck equation is good.
Would I buy one?
It’s a very tempting proposition and the EV6 is a great all-rounder with its performance and practicality. Personally, I’d be tempted to hold off on ordering an EV6 GT line until I drive the closely-related Hyundai Ioniq 5 N, which will boast similar performance but promises a few extra tricks and more track-capability.