After a few digital events to build up the awareness of its first dedicated fully-electric vehicle, Kia Corporation has finally unveiled the EV6 SUV.
The new Kia EV6 is almost similar in dimensions to the IONIQ 5 from larger affiliate Hyundai Motor Co., but a 100 mm shorter wheelbase and even lower roofline. At just 1,550 mm tall, the new Kia EV6 is similar in height to the Mazda CX-30 and Hyundai Kona which belong to a segment or two lower.
The EV6 was designed under the brand’s new design philosophy ‘Opposites United’, which takes inspiration from the contrasts found in nature and humanity. At the front, Kia’s ‘tiger face’ has been re-interpreted for the digital era. Forming part of this ‘Digital Tiger Face’, daytime running lights display a sleek, modern appearance and include a ‘sequential’ dynamic light pattern. Below this, a low air intake visually widens the front of the car, accentuating its high-tech image.
The side profile displays a crossover-inspired silhouette, which is sleek and aerodynamic. A character line runs along the bottom of the doors, curving upwards towards the rear wheel arches to visually elongate the profile of the car. The tail lamps then cut deep into the side of the vehicle, while also integrated into the tailgate lid like a duck tail.
Thanks to the scalable platform in fully electric vehicles, numerous powertrain configurations can be arranged. Kia, together with Hyundai, will be utilising the Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) that allows for differing battery sizes paired with single- or dual-motor propulsion.
In its most performance-oriented configuration, the Kia EV6 GT variant will have a battery pack with an energy content of 77.4 kWh and the combined outputs of 585 hp and 740 Nm of torque from the dual-motor AWD layout.
Acceleration from standstill to 100 km/h in just 3.5 seconds. Meanwhile, for users who purely want the furthest range, the EV6 with the same 77.4 kWh battery, but with only a rear motor with outputs of 229 hp and 350 Nm of torque, has up to 510 kilometres of range.
This particular configuration with 800-volt system architecture will also take just four and a half (4.5) minutes of charging to extend its range by 100 kilometres and 18 minutes to top-up the battery’s state-of-charge (SOC) from 10% to 80% via an ultra-fast charging system.
An AWD version with a smaller 55 kWh battery pack and 605 Nm of torque will complete the benchmark century sprint in 6.2 seconds.
The new Kia EV6 can also be turned into a power bank! Yes, with the vehicle-to-load (V2L) function, the battery in the EV6 can supply up to 3.6 kW of power and is capable, as an example, of operating a 55-inch television and air conditioner simultaneously for more than 24 hours. Kia says the V2L system is also able to charge another EV. Sounds like a great vehicle for emergency services!
Inside, the EV6 is incredibly spacious thanks to the flat-floor and the battery pack neatly packaged below. Kia says there are plenty of storage spaces while the robust fabrics in the seats are made from as many as 111 plastic water bottles.
Underneath the bonnet is a storage space of up to 52 litres for rear-motor variants. Dual-motor models such as the 585 hp EV6 GT will still have a tiny 20-litre storage space. The cargo space at the rear is abundant though, rated at 520 litres.
The high-tech infotainment system includes 12-inch dual screens. A new augmented reality (AR) head-up display system projects vital vehicle operation information in the driver’s line of sight.
Kia is increasing the level of autonomy in the EV6 through the Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA2) function, where the vehicle will switch lanes should the driver just give a slight click on the indicator stalk, of course after all conditions regarding safe manoeuvring are met.
Kia plans to deliver the mass-market variants from October this year, with the 585 hp GT variant only slated for October next year! Based on markets that have begun the booking process such as South Korea and Western Europe, the prices of the Kia EV6 with 510-kilometre range starts from GBP40,895 (similar to a Volkswagen ID.4) while the GT variant from GBP58,295 (cheaper than a BMW iX3).
All of Kia’s new dedicated EVs will start with the prefix ‘EV’ which makes it easy for consumers to understand which of Kia’s products are fully electric. This is followed by a number that corresponds to the car’s position in the line-up.
Kia aims to launch as many as seven dedicated EVs by 2026, comprising of three passenger and four recreational vehicle models with the product offence to begin from 2023.