Competes with: Chevrolet Bolt EUV, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Nissan Ariya, Tesla Model Y, Volkswagen ID.4
Looks like: A more angular, wagon-y Hyundai Ioniq 5; the teaser images we’ve already seen, pretty much
Powertrains: Single- (rear) or dual-motor (all-wheel) electric drive; standard 58.0-kilowatt-hour or long-range 77.4-kwh lithium-ion battery; up to almost 600 horsepower and almost 550 pounds-feet of torque
Hits dealerships: Early 2022
The latest Kia to make its global debut is the EV6 all-electric SUV. With available dual-motor electric all-wheel drive and a claimed 0-62-mph time as low as 3.5 seconds, it looks like Kia is making its first dedicated battery-electric vehicle a legitimate Tesla fighter.
Related: Kia EV6: What We Know About Kia’s New All-Electric Crossover
The EV6 differentiates itself from the Hyundai Ioniq 5 all-electric SUV with which it shares its companies’ Electric-Global Modular Platform with more futuristic styling, a different interior layout and the more performance-oriented GT version, which produces the eye-watering power and acceleration numbers mentioned above.
With a steeply sloped front windshield, high beltline, muscular fenders and aggressive stance, the EV6 GT looks like more of a wagon or shooting brake than an SUV. The more pedestrian EV6 and EV6 GT-Line tone down some of that aggression but keep the high beltline. The ducktail rear styling helps further differentiate the EV6 from its Ioniq 5 cousin.
The EV6 will also have a slightly shorter wheelbase than the Ioniq 5, at roughly 114.2 inches to the Hyundai’s 118.1, but the Kia will be more than 2 inches longer overall.
Another differentiation between the Kia and Hyundai models is that the Kia does not appear to have the sliding center console Hyundai put in its SUV. Still, the EV6’s interior should feel a little roomier than similar-sized gas-powered SUVs thanks to its flat floor and lack of a transmission tunnel. The thin seat design should also benefit interior room.
The centerpiece of the EV6’s cabin is its seamless screen that stretches from the driver’s door across the dashboard to the center of the vehicle; it will serve as both a digital instrument panel and multimedia screen.
Cargo room will be boosted by a front trunk, though models outside of North America will be available with a larger, 52-liter frunk in rear-wheel-drive models. EV6s with all-wheel drive and those sold on this continent will have to make do with 20 liters of extra space.
Powertrain Choices and Range
The EV6 and EV6 GT-Line will be available in FWD or AWD, while the higher-performance EV6 GT comes standard with AWD and adds electronic limited-slip differential software. Battery pack choices for the base and GT-Line will be the standard-range 58-kilowatt-hour or long-range 77.4-kwh packs, while the GT comes standard with the 77.4-kwh battery pack.
Power ranges from roughly 168 horsepower and 258 pounds-feet of torque for a RWD EV6 with the 58-kwh battery pack to the EV6 GT’s wild 577 hp and 546 pounds-feet.
Range estimates thus far are only using the European testing protocol, which is typically more optimistic than the EPA’s testing, but the long-range RWD EV6 has the highest currently estimated range of approximately 316 miles.
Globally, the EV6 will support both 400-volt and 800-volt charging, and Kia estimates that when plugged in to an 800-volt charger, the EV6’s charge can go from 10% to 80% in 18 minutes, and add 62 miles of range in less than five minutes. No word yet on U.S. charging specifications, however.
Like the Ioniq 5, the EV6 will also support vehicle-to-load powering of external devices or even charging another EV in a pinch.
Safety features in the EV6 will include an available augmented reality head-up display and a range of advanced driver assistance tech, including hands-on semi-autonomous driving. Other useful safety features include remote parking assistance, which can move the EV6 into or out of a parking space with the driver outside the vehicle, and Safe Exit Assist, which warns occupants of approaching vehicles when opening the doors and can use the electronic lock to help keep the rear doors closed.
Kia says online reservations in “some markets” begin today. It’s not clear when U.S. reservations will open, though a Kia spokesperson said the EV6 will be available here in early 2022.
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