Kia EV6 and Toyota Aygo X Prologue revealed
The first of many new Kia EVs promises it all – Porsche speed and space for everyone. By Jake Groves
Speak softly and carry a big stick. That’s exactly what Kia is doing with its new EV6, a sharply-dressed EV designed as a family car, but with a version that can out-sprint a 911 Carrera S. Of course, Tesla has been doing that for a good while… but Kia? What is it playing at?
Does Kia do sports cars?
Not usually. Other than its loveable underdog, the Stinger, Kia’s performance car cup hasn’t exactly overfloweth. Instead, the EV6 is the start of an overhaul of how Kia operates: ‘We don’t want to be a premium brand,’ says Artur Martins, Kia’s global head of brand. ‘But we believe that this car has to be a representative of this new brand we want to build.’
The recipe starts with Hyundai Motor Group’s e-GMP platform, built for rear- and all-wheel-drive powertrains, with development nous from engineering wizard Albert Biermann. Unlike Hyundai, which only revealed relatively lukewarm power variants of its ace new Ioniq 5, Kia has smacked us across the chops with three variants of the EV6, including a frankly overpowered GT.
Overpowered, you say?
How does 577bhp sound? That’s more power than a Taycan 4S on overboost, in something that’s shaped like a family crossover. Kia claims a 3.5sec 0-62mph sprint and a 143mph top speed for the GT, good enough to see off all sorts of sports cars in a drag race. And if performance isn’t your top priority, there are less neck-snapping versions; a rear-drive one with 227bhp, and an all-wheel-drive 321bhp model. Those versions also get a choice of a standard (58kWh) or long range (77.4kWh) battery; the GT gets the larger battery. The thriftiest EV6, the long-range rearwheel-drive variant, claims more than 315 miles from a charge.
There has to be more to it than power… Innovative 800-volt electronics allow for super-fast charging like a Taycan (and like the Ioniq 5), with Kiseok Ahn, Kia’s head of global product planning, saying, ‘By the time you watch a TED talk [which are around 20 minutes long], you can charge the EV6 up to 80 per cent, and you’ll be able to drive 62 miles with less than 4.5 minutes of charging – similar to the time it takes to fill up a gas tank.’ That does, of course, depend on no end of variables: using the fastest of chargers and ensuring it maintains a high rate of charge, for a start.
You get proper reclining front seats, so you can nap while the car is charging, and a domestic socket for you to plug in a laptop. In fact, the e-GMP platform has a ‘vehicle to load’ function that means it’s equipped for use as a power source for all sorts of things a long way removed from driving – running power tools or TVs, for example, and indeed jump-starting other cars if their batteries have gone flat.
Any more sports car slayers on the cards? Probably. Kia has already pointed to making seven fully-electric cars and, as the nomenclature of EV6 suggests, that might well mean a range that runs from an EV1 city car to a big EV7 SUV. In the meantime, if you want an EV6, prices start at £41k, or £57k for the hot GT.
Kia claims a 3.5sec 0-62mph sprint for the GT version