Las Vegas – in January, We got our first chance to drive Kia’s new EV6 electric vehicle. Built using Hyundai Motor Group’s excellent new E-GMP platform, the EV6 impressed us immediately, offering a less polarizing design and more playful handling than Also great is the Hyundai Ioniq 5. Designed as a dedicated EV platform, the E-GMP features an 800-volt battery pack that allows for fast rapid charging, and the rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive can achieve excellent levels of efficiency.
On that first trip, and then again on domestic roads over the summer, my seat time in an EV6 confirmed the wisdom of Hyundai Motor Group in hiring Albert Biermann away from BMW to build out the Korean automakers’ R&D programs. But now Kia has shifted the dial beyond 11 with its new $61,400 EV6 GT, a limited-edition version that can outpace some Ferraris and Lamborghinis, and ride the rumble strips of a racetrack with the best of them.
Between the hubs of the EV6 GT, you’ll find the same 77.4kWh (total capacity) battery pack as in other EV6s—the company has discontinued the smaller battery variant (the EV6 Light) due to a lack of demand. But in the EV6 GT, that battery will now provide more power to the pair of electric motors driving the front and rear wheels. There’s a total of 576 hp (430 kW), plus 545 lb-ft (738 Nm) of torque, split between a 215 hp (160 kW) front-engined and 362 hp (270 kW) rear-engine engine with an electronic limited-slip differential .
To reduce that power, the EV6 GT rides on 21-inch wheels shod with Goodyear Eagle F1 high-performance tires. To cap it off again, although Kia has increased the amount of regenerative braking from 0.3g to 0.4g, it is also seen fit to equip the EV6 GT with large ventilated disc brakes (15in front, 14.2in rear) with monoblock calipers. , picked out in neon green paint. The car rides on electronically controlled dampers with revised spring rates and retuned steering compared to lesser EV6 vehicles, and there are unique front suspension components, plus new traction and stability control algorithms that make this car downright playful.
To access all that power and torque, you need to hit the neon green GT button on the steering wheel—this unlocks the 576 horsepower and puts the electronic safety net on its most lenient setting. In Eco mode, the EV6 GT sends only 287 horsepower (214 kW) of power to the engines—most of it to the rear engine for improved efficiency. In Normal and Sport modes, the battery increases the motors maximum power to 429 hp (320 kW), which is enough to make this EV snappy despite a hefty curb weight of 5,732 lbs (2,600 kg). (This also explains the big brakes).
But if you hit the green button, and you have at least 70 percent charge status remaining, the car unlocks all 576 horsepower. In the drag strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the EV6 GT easily ran an 11.5-second quarter-mile, crossing the line at 118 mph (190 km/h). Kia quotes a 0-60 mph (0-98 km/h) time of 3.4 seconds, which is about a tenth of a second faster than competitors such as the Tesla Model Y Performance and Ford Mustang Mach-E GTand the EV6 GT will continue to accelerate until the speed limiter kicks in at 161 mph (260 km/h).
On track, I was able to properly explore the GT mode’s more lenient handling and found the car to slide quite easily, yet easy to grip. The suspension was able to handle riding curbs, though it’s true that the LVMS’ road course is flat, and the curbs are smooth and not rattling with teeth. A warm-up lap in Sport mode followed by laps in GT mode confirms how fast the latter is. And you’ll be glad to know the brakes work well, even though you notice the car’s mass on the track when it’s time to slow things down off speed.
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