By on March 31, 2021

Kia has issued a kind of extended teaser for the all-electric EV6, with the latest example giving us a fairly comprehensive look at the more extravagant version. The EV6 GT will be a swift and squat crossover (or perhaps portly hatchback?) using the E-GMP architecture that currently underpins the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and several more dedicated electric vehicles South Korea has yet to put into production.

That makes the EV6 an incredibly important model for Kia and the Hyundai Motor Group as a whole. Fortunately, the manufacturer seems eager to make a good first impression — which is probably why it led with the 576 horsepower, GT trimmed model. 

While not every EV6 will be all-wheel drive, GT models will be. They’ll also be coming with the long-range, 77.4-kWh battery option and a second motor to help improve traction and overall output. Kia said cheaper versions will be rear-drive only and come with the standard 58-kWh battery. Range on the more expensive variant is reportedly good, with the European WLTP testing standard returning roughly 316 miles. The United States Environmental Protection Agency will likely release a more conservative (and accurate) figure, though it should still be somewhere around 300 miles.

That’s not half bad and made better by the car’s relatively quick charging time. Assuming you’re capable of getting to a fast-charger, Kia said owners could bring the 800-volt system from 10 percent of its charge all the way back up to 80 percent in under 20 minutes. You might even feel comfortable taking an EV like this on a weekend excursion. But we’re willing to bet EV6’s with the smaller battery option makes them better suited for localized duties and short, predictable commutes.

Performance is shaping up nicely on the GT model. Kia is promising dual-motor versions of the EV6 that should squeak past 60 mph in under 3.5 seconds. But most EVs tend to possess rather limited top speeds and this model is no different. The manufacturer decided to cap it at 128 mph, though GT owners will get software that attempts to mimic a limited-slip rear differential.

Those units will be equipped with two motors for a combined 576 horsepower. But Kia said single-motor versions of the EV6 will have numerous powertrain options ranging between 168 and 255 hp. Dual-motor variants (that aren’t the fully-fledged GT model) will span between 232 and 320 horsepower. But we will need to wait for details on how that works out in terms of acceleration and battery range.

What we won’t need to wait on, however, are some of the unique features Kia has outfitted the EV6 with to make it as appetizing as possible. The vehicle offers two-way charging, allowing for it to deliver 3.6 kW of power to whatever devices you want. While perhaps not as juicy as what’s being offered by some of the all-electric pickups everyone is working on (Ford’s electric F-Series is supposed to discharge at least 7 kW), it’s pretty good for a vehicle that doesn’t come with a way to generate its own electricity. Were the EV6 equipped with a gasoline generator, a few extra kilowatts might have been nice. But Kia’s crossover should be capable of running everything one might take on an overnight camping trip with enough power left over to get you back on your way home. Just be careful to leave yourself with more than 35 percent of your maximum capacity or else the vehicle curiously loses its ability to tow its maximum payload of 3,500 pounds (officially 1,600 kg).

Additional features should be akin to what we’ve already seen offered on the Hyundai Ioniq 5. Expect a suite of driving aids, over-the-air updates, two 12-inch screens, and the company’s new augmented reality display on the higher trims. Hyundai also hasn’t announced a performance-oriented model, meaning the EV6 GT might be the only rowdy EV in their conjoined lineup for a while. Based upon what we’ve seen thus far, the Ioniq 5 seems to be taking a hyper-modern, luxury-focused approach to motoring anyway. The EV6’s interior and exterior are no less interesting but more traditional in their orientation.

The EV6 is supposed to go on sale in North America later this year. Expect Kia to offer a sizable release on the US-spec models, their pricing, and what order we can expect to see them arriving on our market before then.

[Images: Kia]

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13 Comments on “Kia Debuts 576 Horsepower EV6 GT...”

  • avatar

    Nice. Small front overhang. Make it I6 RWD, I am in

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “But we’re willing to bet EV6’s with the smaller battery option makes them better suited for localized duties and short, predictable commutes.”

    That’s funny; the same thing was said about the 2011 Leaf and its 24 kWH battery and 73-mile EPA-rated range.

    • 0 avatar
      kjhkjlhkjhkljh kljhjkhjklhkjh

      Weird .. most leaf owners love their cars according to consumer reports edmunds consumer reviews, car and driver consumer reviews, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      And it was as true then as it it is today.

      Any car that cannot put 300 miles on the odometer, be fully recharged over a light lunch, and then burn through another 300 miles before bedtime is largely incompatible with my lifestyle. While I don’t expect everyone to keep my driving hours, many electrics still aren’t well suited for long distances.

      I like some EVs, especially when I just need to zip around 35 miles of urban landscape each day. But their charms begin to evaporate the second I require something that can cross several states without my plotting a detailed course that accounts for limited range and battery recharging (which makes the whole trip unnecessarily stressful and time consuming).

      I’m sure I’ll change my tune once we run out of fuel or battery technology improves a bit more and costs come down. We have already seen major improvements there. But the seesaw of progress is not yet balanced.

      • 0 avatar

        Thank you!

        I once drove from Minneapolis, MN to Toledo in just about twelve hours. One stop for gas and to grab a bite!

        This would be impossible in any EV made today or likely in the near future! Even if you could somehow recharge a battery to full charge state in 30 minutes, how long would that battery last? If you get three years out of a cell phone before you have to keep it on a charger to get through the workday, what about the battery in your vehicle if such a fast charge were even an option?

        • 0 avatar

          @sgeffe: Well, lets break this down into real numbers. Minneapolis to Toledo is 651 miles. Model S LR has a 412 mile range. Drive the car 375 miles to what is probably its real world limit and you have 276 miles left. You don’t need to charge to 100% to make it to the destination. At a V3 250kW supercharger that 276 miles with some padding shoud take around 20 minutes. A light lunch and gas should take about the same amount of time.

          Battery tech has changed. New electrode coatings and chemistry make a difference in durability. My is about 9 months old. It’s capable of USB 3.0 quick charging and I still get a little over 24 hours out of it without a charge if I want to let it go that long.

  • avatar

    Nice car.

  • avatar

    Say what you will about EVs, but this is a cool time to be an auto enthusiast. All the brands are pumping out new EV product executed in slightly different ways for a market that hasn’t yet crystallized. I imagine this is what it felt like in the mid-80s as all the brands rushed to introduce downsized FWD sedans? Things are up for grabs in a major way.

  • avatar

    Are you sure this isn’t really just a slightly modified, rebadged Ford Mach-E?

  • avatar

    With pickups, standard 4X8’s don’t need to lay flat necessary. Perhaps you’re thinking minivans? I guess it becomes more necessary with a tall stack, say 20+ half inch sheets. If the bed is less than 4.5 long it could be a problem though either way.

  • avatar

    Is it V6? Really?

  • avatar

    This presents issues for “performance” cars when glorified minivans like this thing have 600hp.

  • avatar

    It’s a beauty. Both ranges would be fine for long distance travel. More is nice if you have the scratch. Kinda think 240 – 300 miles is more than a city run about. My city rinabout is an ebike with 40 miles range and it has been fantastic. LOL.

    The charging infrastructure in the US needs improvement – and it will improve, but with some planning it’s all a good adventure. For sure though – cannonball runs are not in the picture. Not a huge demographic.

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