The new Kia EV6 GT is the brand’s most powerful model yet – but it will be a true grand tourer with a high degree of versatility, according to the firm’s development guru.
The new range-topping version of the Korean firm’s Kia EV6 crossover features a twin motor electric powertrain with a combined output of 430kW and 740Nm, resulting in a 0-100km/h time of 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 260km/h.
But Albert Biermann, the Hyundai Motor Group’s retired head of research and development, who now serves as an advisor to the firm, promised that the EV6 GT “will be a true GT”.
“We started GT on the Stinger, and the GT is always the top of the line model. It’s not a car for the racetrack, it’s a different story. This is designed for long distance touring, and it offers good speed, while being enjoyable to drive.”
Biermann insisted that a GT performance version wasn’t in the original product plan for the EV6, and development had been done entirely in-house by the firm’s engineers once the firm began to realise the possibilities of E-GMP.
The EV6 GT uses the same electric motors as top-spec versions of the regular EV6. While the front unit produces the regular 160kW, the output of the rear motor has been raised to 270kW through the use of a second inverter feeding power to it. The machine also features the latest version of the Hyundai Motor Group’s e-LSD limited slip differential, which balanced power between the four wheels.
The GT retains the EV6’s 77.6kWh battery and has an official range of 423 kilometres. As with other E-GMP models, the EV6 GT is capable of ultra-fast charging, with a 10-80% fill taking 18 minutes.
Biermann noted that the Hyundai Motor Group’s bespoke electric E-GMP platform “is a fantastic base to start with” for a performance car, adding: “It didn’t need fundamental changes because it can handle this level of power.” Kia’s engineers added extra control arms to the front axle to give the system more freedom, and also did a special tune on the steering and adaptive dampers. The focus was on balancing performance with comfort at high-speeds.
There’s also a dedicated GT Drive Mode, activated via a button on the steering wheel that optimises the motors, braking, steering, suspension, e-LSD and electronics stability control for performance.
The upgraded motors and performance tweaks will also be used on the forthcoming Hyundai Ioniq 5 N, but Biermann insisted that the freedom the E-GMP chassis offers means the cars will have very different characteristics. “The EV6 GT still gives us good room to have very different fun cars from other brands,” he said. The Ioniq 5 N is set to take a more hardcore approach.
While the powertrain and vehicle setting have been heavily reworked, the design makeover for the EV6 GT is relatively limited. There’s a unique clamshell bonnet, front and rear bumpers, a small rear aero spoiler, near brake calipers and special 21-inch alloy wheels. Inside the machine gains suede-trimmed bucket seats and special GT design elements.
The EV6 GT is due on sale later this year. Pricing has yet to be set, but it will be above the $74,990 starting price for the twin-motor EV6 GT-Line. However, Biermann joked “if you want to have something comparable with the GT spirit like this car, you’d have to spend more than twice the money. So you can have one EV6 GT for the week in grey, and then one in a bright colour for the weekend.”