Motoring News

Kia’s coming EV6: All-wheel drive, high-tech twin engines

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – The new Kia EV6, its maker says, has brought long-range, zero-emissions, power, 800V ultra-fast charging and distinctive styling to the crossover SUV market as the EV6 is Kia’s first car to be based on the company’s dedicated new platform for battery electric vehicles.

This the first dedicated BEV under the new Kia design philosophy ‘Opposites United’, described as ”a future-orientated electric vehicle powered by only electric energy with a number of long-range, zero-emissions, drivetrains”. Its 800V charging capability can handle a 10% to 80% battery charge in only 18 minutes.

The GT model can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 3.5sec and reach 260km/h.

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KIA JOINS THE ELECTRIC RACE: The control seat for the coming Kia BEVs’. Image: Kia Motors

The EV6 is the first Kia BEV to benefit from the first part of Kia’s transition to electrification, starting a mid- to long-term strategy to take to 40% BEV, plug-in hybrid and hybrid electric (HEV) vehicles to 40% of Kia’s total sales by 2030; annual sales target is 1.6-million units.

”PROGRESSIVE ENGINEERING’

To do this Kia wants to grow its BEV sales to 880 000 by 2030 as ”a top global seller” with the EV6 the first of 11 new BEVs by 2026 – seven built on new architecture, four EV based on existing models.

Ho Sung Song, Kia’s president and chief executive officer told The Corner through a media release: “The EV6 is the embodiment of the new Kia, born to inspire every journey with bold design, progressive engineering, innovative technology, and electric performance.

“It also represents the start of Kia’s long-term commitment to sustainable mobility.”

The EV6, to be assembled in South Korea, will reach some global markets in the second half of 2021; online reservations are already open. 

Watch the EV6’s world premiere video on the  Kia Global YouTube channel.

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FASCIA OF THE FUTURE: A driver’s eye view of the upcoming electric Kia. Image:: Supplied

Karim Habib, senior vice-president and head of Kia Global Design Centre, elaborated: “The EV6, as the first dedicated Kia EV, is a showcase of human-centred progressive design and electric power. We strongly believe the EV6 is a compelling and relevant EV intended to create a distinctive design with sophisticated, high-tech, features dedicated to Kia’s future.”

The GT version of the EV6, he explained, has a distinctive exterior, high-tech features, and ”unprecedented levels of performance”.

The brand’s iconic ‘tiger face’ logo has been re-interpreted and daytime running lights are said to add a modern appearance that includes a sequential light pattern. Beneath is an air intake that, visually, widens the car’s nose. There are sloping C-pillars whose black inserts, Kia says, ”seem to extend the glass”.

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SUPER SPOILER: The rear edge of the roof carries a spoiler that directs slipstream downwards to a second wing. Image: Kia Motors

A ”wing” spoiler on the roof directs the slipstream down to a lower spoiler over the cars’ rear light clusters and the overall design includes a 2.9m wheelbase which, Kia says, gives cabin space similar to some mid-size SUVs.

RECYCLED SEATING

Jochen Paesen, vice-president for cabin design took the story further: “People are attracted by a car’s shape, then fall for the cabin. So cabin space was most important.”

In line with this concept is a seamless, high-tech, curved, infotainment screen; the seats are described as ”slim, light, and contemporary covered by visually interesting and robust fabric woven from recycled plastic – in total the equivalent of 111 plastic water bottles”.

Kia says there’s an abundance of cabin storage. The boot offers 520 litres of space with the rear seats erect, 1300 litres folded. Given the missing engine, a front ”boot” adds 52 litres of stowage for 2WD units 20 litres for AWD models.

FIRST FOR KIA AUTOMOBILES

All very well, but how about range and performance? Kia says the range will offer a number of fully-electric, zero-emissions, powertrains that include long-range (77.4 kWh) and standard-range (58 kWh) high-voltage battery packs. The GT-line has long-and standard-range battery packs, the GT units only the long-range battery pack.

”This,” Kia adds, ”is our first electric vehicle available with two-wheel (2WD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) – the latter adding enhanced dynamic capability in even the most challenging conditions.”

READ MORE Kia features on Carman’s Corner

The 2WD is said to be capable of more than 510km on a charge; 605Nm torque is available on the AWD, and acceleration to 100km/h is possible in 5.2sec. The 77.4 kWh battery pack powers a 168kW electric motor for the rear wheels; AWD units can muster 239kW for the axles.

The AWD 58.0 kWh EV6 takes 6.2sec to 100km/h thanks to 605Nm torque AWD version. The 58.0 kWh battery pack is paired with a 125kW motor for the rear wheels; AWD units have two electric motors for a combined 173kW.

Image: Kia Motors
ELECTRIFYING PERFORMANCE: The upcoming high-performance Kia EV6. Image: Kia Motors

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