The pecking order of performance amongst automakers isn’t set in stone, but it’s always been somewhat predictable. Over the years, Kia’s displayed an appetite for subverting those expectations, with cars like the Stinger and K900 rejecting the brand’s budget beginnings. And it’s just done it again in the most dramatic way possible with the EV6.
Kia released the numbers behind its first electric vehicle built on parent company Hyundai’s modular E-GMP architecture on Tuesday. While the EV6 is a cousin of the neo-retro Ioniq 5 hatchback — and the Ioniq 5 doesn’t really have any pretensions about being fast — the EV6 is considerably more ambitious. Especially the top-end GT model, which can hit 100 km/h from a standstill in 3.5 seconds. That’s three tenths quicker than a Porsche Taycan 4S.
Now I’m not saying the top-of-the-line version of the EV6 is going to be a “Taycan killer” or anything of that sort, but let’s just stop for a minute and appreciate what’s been achieved here. Many supercars couldn’t crack 0-100 km/h times under 4 seconds around the turn of the century. Then, almost 10 years ago, the Tesla Model S demonstrated to the world what an electric powertrain could mean for the average sedan.
We’re finally seeing electrification truly democratize performance, such that modestly-priced, family-hauling Kias and Fords are going to be pulling off these feats, too.
Cynics will chalk this all up to the unrelenting march of technological progress, but neck-snapping acceleration of this magnitude being accessible to the masses is something else. True, the average car is always getting faster, but EVs have accelerated those gains exponentially. Going forward, this kind of performance is going to be the norm — for better or worse.
Kia will offer the EV6 with a choice of 58 kWh and long-range 77.4 kWh battery packs, in either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive configurations. Here’s how the specs shake out for the non-GT models, courtesy of a press release:
The 2WD 77.4 kWh EV6 can travel over 510 kilometres on a single charge on the WLTP combined cycle. With a maximum 605 Nm torque available on the AWD version, the EV6 can accelerate from 0-to-100 km/h in just 5.2 seconds. The 77.4 kWh battery pack is paired with a 168 kW (229ps) electric motor powering the rear wheels, and for AWD models a 239 kW (325 ps) electric motor powers the front and rear wheels.
The 58.0 kWh EV6 can accelerate from 0-to-100 km/h in 6.2 seconds, with a maximum 605 Nm torque available on the AWD version. The 58.0 kWh battery pack is paired with a 125 kW electric motor powering the rear wheels, and for AWD models a 173 kW electric motor powers the front and rear wheels.
All of that is in line with the benchmark set by the Ioniq 5, but of course, the EV6 GT goes a bit further with dual-motor power delivering 430 kW — or 576 horsepower — and 334 Nm of torque. An electronic limited-slip differential will help the EV6’s cornering keep pace with its straight-line dash.
Like the Ioniq 5, all EV6 models support peak 800V charging, allowing the car to go from 10 to 80 per cent battery capacity in 18 minutes when used with the optimal fast charger. The vehicle-to-load feature can also supply 3.6 kW of juice to connected electrical devices. Kia says that’s enough to power a 55-inch television for 24 hours, if you want to go camping in your average family rocket ship. Which, at this rate, I suppose we’ll all be doing soon enough.