Video test – Kia EV6 GT: the Land of the Morning Calm is exciting

Who would have thought, ten years ago, when Kia’s production was limited to a low-cost, short-term and technically slightly modified offer, that it would give birth in 2022 to a 100% electric monster with almost 600 hp at peak? in technology. and the concept car line? And yet, it exists, this Kia EV6 GT, and we went to Sweden to test it.

Big news for Kia EV6 at the moment because its range appears to be cut at the ends of a new entry-level, with 170 hp and a 58 kWh battery that we will not fail to test next time, and a figurehead, the GT, which we have been promising since the release of the model last year.

This GT, let’s start by identifying it with some aesthetic elements, especially at the level of the front and rear shields that have been slightly redesigned to be more aggressive. But the most surprising thing is the specific large 21-inch rims that hide the neon green calipers that are more sinister, making them an electrified Porsche. We see this color inside with small touches, as well as some GT logos, but above all beautiful bucket seats covered in alcantara that promise support and comfort.

So far, it’s been great, but not enough to get up at night. Until we look at the spec sheet. Because here’s a Kia you’ve never seen before. True, it uses the e-GMP platform and the 800 V architecture, but all the sliders are pushed to 11, as we said in Spın̈al Tap: each set of wheels has the right to its engine, the front produces 218 hp like the EV6 4×4 325 hp, the one behind, specifically, 367 hp, and the combination of the two reaches 585 hp and 740 Nm! Look no further, this is the most powerful production Kia ever! 0 to 100 km / h is only a formality because it is sent in 3.5 s and the acceleration stops only once 260 km / h is reached. We will not validate this second number in this test, but we had the opportunity to check the first one on a track dedicated to exercise. The previous day, Kia had recorded a best time of 3.28 s and, on our side, we did a little less with 3.32 s.

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However, let’s be honest: the electricians who panic the stopwatch in a straight line, everyone seems to know how to do it these days and the real challenge comes when you start to turning the steering wheel. And there, on paper, Kia has done its homework correctly and on all levels: piloted suspensions, electronic limited slip differential, more direct steering and big brakes with 380 mm discs at the front and 360 mm at the back against of 345 in four. corners of others EV6. And indeed, what does it give? Once again, the South Korean manufacturer has provided us with all the means to allow us to push the limits of the GT in its final configurations by setting up a circuit that we can use before testing it in the open. road. The big bath is direct, therefore.

The sport mode is included first, which operates the suspensions, the electronic differential, the direction, the electronic control of the trajectory and the response of the accelerator, so we leave a track that is more like a turnstile in length of this than his height. width. Characteristics that therefore add more difficulty to a vehicle with such a long wheelbase. And yet, the EV6 GT pulls it off unbelievably, defying the laws of physics with an agility its mass would not allow by a factor of 2,200. It is not surprising that the muscular hairpin exit is due to the traditional readily available torque to which we are now accustomed, but looking for connections to the ground. In fact, we are used to electric cars with dynamic vocations on very strong suspensions, which certainly offer brutal efficiency in curves, but they do not leave much room to correct when they are reached. limit and paid money in terms of relief. . But Kia chose a different approach that reminds, all things considered, of the Alpine school, and, even more, the Renault Mégane E-Tech, by leaving some degrees of roll in downforce, which not only has good taste to announce. the driver a little more in the grip he can still ask from the four Michelin Pilot Sport 4S in the 255 width and to preserve the vertebrae in a more peaceful driving. Even better, the DGL and the ESP allow the rear axle to move slightly outwards, which, despite the all-wheel drive, gives a nice little flavor to the performance. The steering may not yet reach the purity of the best thermals in the field, but it’s one of the most pleasant we’ve tested in an electric. As for generous braking, the profile of the circuit with a relatively low speed achieved does not allow us to make it sweat. Let’s finish this paragraph with the congratulations of the bucket seats that are not only good taste to hold their companion when shaking if not also placed very low, with a seat that is flush with the floor.

And the GT mode specific to this version, you ask me right? These are the hooligans, who are advised only by closed roads. The electronics then offer amazing freedom, to the point that one wonders if the front engine has not returned to Seoul because you have to be ready to counter-steer as soon as you combine the lateral support and ankle which is stretched to the right. However, there remains a final mode, more tolerant, soberly titled “drift” and which, as its name suggests, allows the rear wheels to smoke with relative help from traction control systems, if you can enjoy the greenhouse gas emissions of thermal cars. Does it really matter? Probably not, but we bet it will feed some (quick) conversations on Ionity terminals.

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It’s time to face this EV6 GT in reality by taking it out on the open roads, having to quickly adjust to the speed limits because Swedish roads are rich in radar. However, it is not necessary to go beyond them to rediscover a certain dynamic pleasure of driving, in a quiet way of strength, with constant thoughtfulness and unperturbed behavior even in bad weather. quality tarmac. In addition, and this is where this EV6 fully deserves the two extra letters attached to its name, we find in Comfort mode the softness of the EV6, even if the 255 wheels are more in the cabin. Comfortable when you want it, agile when you want it, yes, it deserves the GT name. The icing on the cake, you can also tow up to 1,800 kg, or 200 more than other EV6s!

In terms of autonomy, it is not very famous: you have to pay for these performances at some point and above all a very high overweight, a good part of this extra mass that comes from 21 -inch rims. According to the WLTP cycle, we can only travel 424 km on a charge even with a battery with a generous capacity of 77.4 kWh, against 506 km for a 4 × 4 325 hp in 19 inches! In fact, however, if the idea amuses you to practice eco-driving on a monster of close to 600 hp, know that this GT knows how to do it and even very much thanks to its paddles in steering wheel that allows you to adjust the change in 5 levels. It is easy enough to exceed 500 km on a charge with a minimum of experience if we believe the on-board computer.

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But 424 km or not, is it bad if you can charge likeEV6 ? Absolutely not. It takes 7h20 with a source of 11 kW of alternating current, but especially in 18 minutes to go from 10 to 80% of the load in the fastest terminals of direct current, because it can collect 239 kW. Our route took us to an Ionity station where we usually stopped to take a photo, because we were at 50% load, but observed 234kW of power up to 60% load before the curve finally did not dip ! What’s more, a big innovation in recent weeks, requested by the owners: this GT, like all the EV6 there is a battery pre-conditioning system. When a charging station is selected as a navigation destination, the battery is preheated to reach the charging point at an ideal temperature between 20 and 22 °C. More good news, and this is the information you read first in Automobile Propre: Tesla is currently updating its V3 Superchargers to finally allow the Korean (and its cousin the Hyundai Ioniq 5 ) to connect to sites open to other brands.

Let’s end the pain. Shown from 72,990 €, the Kia EV6 GT claims almost 9,000 € more than the 4 × 4 325 GT Line version, which is not so expensive paid for 260 more hp, more character and some specifics aesthetic elements. On the other hand, at this level of performance, there are some good customers on the market, starting with the Tesla Model Y Performance sold for € 69,990. In addition, and although it is not a crossover but a sedan, the BMW i4 M50 sails in the same financial waters with a price of 73,750 €. Korean should not be ashamed of the face of one or the other in any field, but it still provides food for thought.

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