JOHANNESBURG - KIA has officially launched its new EV6 all-electric car, which is neither a crossover, nor is it an SUV...
The EV6 is KIA’s first venture into electric cars on a mainstream, premium level and it has adopted a rather unusual, albeit striking design direction for the vehicle looks part MPV, part SUV and part hatchback, depending on how you look at it.
Regardless of its looks, however, the EV6 comes in several flavours, but the range-topping GT version is the one we all want.
SEVERAL TO CHOOSE FROM
The EV6 offers buyers a choice of multiple fully-electric, zero-emission powertrain configurations, including long-range (77.4kWh) and standard-range (58.0kWh) high-voltage battery packs.
EV6 GT-line is available with both long-range and standard-range battery packs, while EV6 GT features the long-range battery pack only. This is also Kia’s first electric vehicle to be available with two-wheel (2WD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) options – the latter offering enhanced dynamic capability in even the most challenging conditions, they say.
The 2WD 77.4kWh EV6 can travel over 510 kilometres on a single charge on the WLTP combined cycle. With a maximum 605Nm torque available on the AWD version, the EV6 can accelerate from 0-to-100 km/h in just 5.2 seconds. The 77.4kWh battery pack is paired with a 168kW electric motor powering the rear wheels, and for AWD models two electric motors, powering the front and rear axles, produce a total of 239kW.
The 58.0kWh EV6 can accelerate from 0-to-100 km/h in 6.2 seconds, with a maximum 605Nm torque available on the AWD version. The 58.0kWh battery pack is paired with a 125kW electric motor powering the rear wheels; AWD models feature two electric motors, powering the front and rear axles and producing a combined 173kW.
Equipped with 430kW dual motors, the EV6 GT takes electric performance to another level. With a maximum 740Nm torque, the AWD GT version accelerates from 0-to-100 km/h in an eye-watering 3.5 seconds and can reach a top speed of 260 km/h. With the addition of electronic-Limited Slip Differential software to the EV6 GT version only, drivers can enjoy confident control and dynamic ride and handling in all conditions.
“The GT version of EV6 demonstrates our technological leadership through its combination of outstanding high-speed charging and acceleration performance like a super sports car. With our dedicated EV platform, there is no need for compromise between inspiring spaciousness and performance,” says Albert Biermann, President and Head of R&D Division for Hyundai Motor Group. Yes, that former BMW M car chap has approved the performance, ride and handling of the EV6, so we expect nothing but finesse despite the vehicle’s bulk.
KEEPING IT TOPPED UP
The EV6 offers 800-volt and 400-volt charging capabilities, without the need for additional components or adapters. The car is capable of a high-speed charge from 10 to 80% in just 18 minutes on all variations or a top-up charge of 100km of driving range in less than four and a half minutes when pairing 2WD with the 77.4-kWh battery option.
KIA says the car’s charging system is more flexible than previous generation BEVs thanks to an Integrated Charging Control Unit (ICCU). The ICCU enables a new vehicle-to-load (V2L) function, which is capable of discharging energy from the vehicle battery. The V2L function can supply up to 3.6kW of power and is capable, as an example, of operating a 55-inch television and air conditioner simultaneously for more than 24 hours. The system is also able to charge another EV, if needed. Think of it like reverse charging using your smartphone.
The EV6 can also tow trailers weighing up to 1600kg as long as it maintains more than 35% battery charge for the duration of your journey.
LUXURY AND TECHNOLOGY EVERYWHERE
KIA’s EV6 brings a suite of new technologies that aim to enhance safety, connectivity and infotainment. Its high-tech infotainment system, for instance, includes two 30cm high-definition screens.
Curved displays applied to EV6 have thin film panels that utilise new structure and advanced technology for reducing impact of light. The cluster and infotainment system are connected as if they were wrapped around one body with a reinforced glass. Extending from the steering wheel to the centre of the car, it displays a digital cluster in front of the driver, and infotainment system above the centre console.
The EV6 also features an augmented reality (AR) head-up display system, which projects driving information onto the base of the windscreen in the driver’s line of sight. The system displays alerts from the car’s Advanced Driver Assistance System, details of vehicle speed, and turn-by-turn navigation instructions.
Then, for the audiophiles out there, a powerful 14-speaker Meridian surround sound audio system is also available, a first for a KIA BEV. The audio system features several of the British audio pioneer’s proprietary digital signal processing (DSP) technologies. KIA emphasises that Meridian’s core sound philosophy has been integrated into the EV6 allowing customers to enjoy natural, lifelike and authentic audio when on the move. The speaker system also offers Active Sound Design (ASD), a newly-developed feature by KIA which provides drivers with audible feedback to the speed that the car is travelling and controlled via a user interface.
Expect it to offer high levels of safety kit, the stuff you’d normally find in premium luxury vehicles such as lane keep assist and blind spot monitors as well as cross traffic alert systems. Depending on the model of course, these features will increase, but we expect only one model to be sold in South Africa.
SOUTH AFRICAN EV6 CUSTOMERS
KIA SA confirmed that the EV6 is under consideration for the South African market, however it’s only bringing one car to Mzansi this year to conduct internal studies on the feasibility of running these cars here. Naturally, uptake of BEVs have been slow in South Africa as the technology is fairly new and the electric cars that are available here aren’t exactly the most affordable.
We believe the EV6 GT, however, is the ideal car for the South African (who can afford it) because it genuinely offers a decent amount of range to prevent any form of range anxiety and it has enough performance punch to scare Porsches and Ferraris from a dig. It’s got this wonderful blend of The Jetsons, yet it’s contemporary inside and it’s a fresh take fro a manufacturer that can only improve its offerings in this sector.
If the EV6 GT is launched in South Africa, you can expect it to be priced in line with the Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron GTs of this world as it’s that level of car from what we’ve seen so far. We can’t wait to get behind the wheel to tell you what a 430kW electric KIA feels like at full tilt.
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