Kia’s first purpose-built EV on new platform
Arrives here early 2022
Kia’s first purpose-built EV has just made its North American debut. The Kia EV6 will be the brand’s first model on the all-new Hyundai Group Electric-Global Modular Platform that gives the electric crossover a range of close to 500 km, has Kia’s latest driver assistance systems, and will give the brand a vehicle that makes nearly 600 hp putting even the Stinger GT’s performance to shame.
The EV6 also debuts Kia’s new EV naming system. It’s not exactly clever, but if you’re going to stop using names for numbers, then EV and a digit indicating the car’s position in the lineup is at least easy to keep track of. It’s a new look for Kia, which it calls “opposites united,” and is meant to have sports-car styling inspiration and an electric version of the brand’s tiger nose.
A wheelbase as long as the three-row Telluride with a compact overall length makes for loads of passenger space. 2,888L is on offer, matching other much larger two-row models, and cargo space is also commodious.
Four variants will be offered starting with a 58 kWh battery and 167 hp sent to the rear wheels. A 218 hp RWD model will offer longer range from a 77.4 kWh battery, and that longer-range battery will offer a dual-motor AWD version with 313 hp. Then things get interesting. A GT version with the 77.4 kWh battery and twin motors will make a total of 576 hp and hit 100 km/h in about 3.5 seconds when it arrives late next year. Max range is 482 km though Kia isn’t spelling out which drivelines will get what range just yet.
Inside, recycled plastics are used with vegan leather offerings. A thin seat frame adds rear passenger room, and there will be a small storage area in the front trunk. Twin 12.0-inch display screens show the infotainment and dash and there will be an augmented reality head-up display.
Driver assistance will include 360-cameras, smart park assist, and a full suite of highway features including nav-based adaptive cruise and Highway Driving Assist II that combines adaptive cruise with lane centering. Lane changing assist will come later. The Kia EV6 is expected to arrive on sale early next year.