The Kia EV6 customer deliveries commence in October and Autocar UK got to test an EV6 prototype and from the looks of it, they seem to have come out pretty impressed, save for the name, that is!
Autocar’s first drive review of the EV6 starts off with talking about the name. They say that it is a rather boring outlook for a new line of bespoke Kia electric vehicles. But it is also something that could be forgiven seeing as how the company actually spent time focusing on the important stuff. According to Autocar, the generic name comes from the fact that the company wanted to keep things simple without adding any confusion to the mix. “Call a spade a spade and an EV an EV,” they said.
The important stuff
Seeing as how the EV6 is built on Hyundai Motor Group’s E-GMP skateboard architecture, the EV6 is a very important car for Kia. Take, for example, the 800V architecture. This allows for high-speed 350 kW charging that takes the batteries from 10 per cent of charge to 80 per cent in just 18 minutes. For context, the E-GMP native EV platform is also used in the Hyundai Ioniq 5. Now, both cars share a lot of tech including the motor and battery, but according to the publication, the EV6 is much more than a badge-engineered Hyundai.
Now, while the skateboard that the EV6 runs on is shared, everything else is different. According to Autocar, even the semi-camouflaged car stands itself out thanks to the more sporty, performance-oriented design that Kia has shifted to ever since the Stinger GT. This design alone, according to the publication, puts the Kia EV6 straight up against the likes of the Volkswagen ID.4 GTX, the Polestar 2 or even the Mustang Mach-E.
There is an obvious difference when you look at the Kia and Autocar says the only similarity between the EV6 and the Ioniq 5 is that they share Italian rally car inspiration. The EV6 grants itself impressive street presence, the report says, with the bold, yet sleek front end called the digital tiger face. The door handles are flush, side panels are clean and the spoiler has been built cleanly into the boot lip which, also gets integrated lights.
Autocar’s prototype came in the top-spec GT-Line trim which means a 321 bhp twin-motor AWD. You have to remember, however, that EV6 will be available in two motor configurations – a single- and a twin-motor. Battery sizes should be plenty allowing for a very personalised kind of EV6. Then there is the EV6 GT that will be able to produce 577 bhp of power and according to Autocar, this will probably go up against the Porsche Taycan S. It however won’t be available before well into 2022.
Autocar’s test car wasn’t lacking in the performance section, either. The publication said that the acceleration was smooth and rapid. And, of course, silent, because it’s an EV. It’s something you come to expect from an electric vehicle because of the 446 lb-ft torque that allows for a 0-62 mph sprint of just 5.2 seconds. The range has been officially clocked in at 314 miles and, as we mentioned earlier, a charging time of just 18 minutes from 10 per cent to 80 per cent thanks to the architecture.
According to the review, despite the EV6’s size and 2015 kg kerb, the feedback from the steering is direct with fairly focused cornering thanks to the rear-biased AWD setup. There is bit of splashing around at the rear, but the final tuning of the adaptive suspension is yet to be completed. With three driving modes on offer, Sport mode seems to be what Autocar liked best and while the EV6 is not a sports-focused EV, it manages a balance between SUV practicality and the emotion and enthusiasm that one would look for.
Kia has managed to take a major step forward here, too, according to Autocar. It introduces a new design language with the use of a single driver-focused curved display that features two screens. Buttons are present as is a multipurpose haptic panel. According to Kia, the key functionality needed to be accessed quickly and that’s what they have done. The review further says that the entire interior is well thought through with plenty of space, a large centre console and comfortable seats, the fabrics of which are made from recycled water bottles. And finally, an augmented reality head-up display, that Autocar says works only reasonably welḷ.
IAA 2021 European debut
Kia has debuted the EV6 at the 2021 IAA Mobility that runs until 12 September. This is the first European public showing of the EV6. Visitors will be able to enjoy an EV6 VR experience as well as have the opportunity to sit inside the new BEV. The Kia stand is set up in the outdoor exhibition at Odeonsplatz between 2 pm and 8 pm on September 7, between 10 am and 8 pm between 8-11 September and between 10 am and 5 pm on September 12.
The RWD EV6 starts from £40,895. The sports-inspired EV6 GT-Line variants start from £43,895 for RWD models, and £47,395 for AWD variants. GT-Line S models, with extra standard equipment, are priced from £48,395 (RWD) and £51,895 (AWD). Customer deliveries of the baseline, GT-Line and GT-Line S models in the UK commence from October 2021.
The high-performance EV6 GT model will be delivered to UK customers in the second half of 2022.
While this seems like a very positive review from Autocar, it has to be noted that this is just the prototype and the final product is yet to be tested. But if a prototype could compel the publication to praise it like so, we only wonder what the actual first E-GMP based Kia EV6 will feel like!
Featured image: Kia