Kia’s EV6 GT is World Performance Car of the Year, who can argue with that?

To be eligible a car must be produced in volumes of at least 1000 units/year, must be
overtly performance-focused in overall character and must be “on-sale” in at least two
major markets during the qualifying period.

And with two electric motors and a seriously impressive 430kW of power and 740Nm of
torque, not to mention a 0-100-km/h time of just 3.5 seconds, EV6 GT certainly meets
the requirements.

The GT sits 5mm lower, with some small design mods, larger 21-inch wheels and
green brake calipers. Gloss black A-pillar, wing mirrors and belt line garnishes
complete the look, with full-width tail lights and a stylish rear wing.

It’s long and surprisingly wide at almost 4.7 metres and 1.9 metres across, with a
2900mm stretched wheelbase. This means plenty of rear legroom and a decent-sized

To placate traditionalists, a grille of sorts remains at the front. But the proportions are
out of whack, with an overly long cabin that is bracketed by a short bonnet and boot.

Prices start from $72,590 for the EV6 Air RWD. EV6 GT-Line RWD is priced from
$79,590, while the EV6 GT-Line with AWD is priced from $87,590. Our test vehicle, top
of the line EV6 GT, is priced from $99,950 before on-roads.

The standard colour is red, while premium blue, black or white adds $520 to the price.
Then there’s flat matte Moonscape grey that will set you back $3295.

Whatever exterior colour you choose, the interior is trimmed in a combination of black
with green piping and stitching.

Want the optional cable that allows the car to be hooked up to a pay-as-you-go charger
– it’s a whopping $583 (why so much?)

Standard kit is mostly the same as the GT-Line we drove previously, with some notable

Inside there’s dual zone climate air with rear vents and the seats are trimmed in a
combination of grey artificial leather and suede with green stitching.

While the seats are heated front and back, the front seats do not recline, lack power
adjustment and miss out on cooling – or ventilation as it is commonly known.

The steering wheel is heated and mood lighting remains.

There’s also follow-the-road LED headlights, folding, heated door mirrors with
integrated indicators, automatic high beam, smart cruise control with stop and go, auto
parallel and perpendicular parking, a tilt and slide sunroof and power-operated tailgate.

Rounding off the list is head-up display, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, auto lights
and wipers, front and rear parking sensors, along with a 360-degree camera.

Like all Kias, it’s covered by a 7-year unlimited kilometre warranty, with pre-paid service
plans available.

Infotainment consists of a 12.3-inch touchscreen, with built-in navigation, Bluetooth,
AM/FM and DAB+ digital radio, together with wired Android Auto and wired Apple
CarPlay plus ‘Sounds of Nature’ ambient background noise.

Like the GT-Line it gets the premium, 14-speaker Meridian audio system.

Connect with three USB Chargers (1 x Type A and 2 x Type C) in the front tray with
multimedia connectivity, plus two 12-volt power outlets ( 1 x boot side/1 x front tray).
Two USB ports have been removed from the rear.

Wireless Qi phone charging is standard.

GT is powered by two electric motors, with 160kW/350Nm at front and 270kW/390Nm
at the rear. They deliver a combined output of 430kW and 740Nm of torque, with
maximum torque available from get-go.

Drive is to all four wheels, through a one-speed, reduction gear automatic.

Although other grades receive a five-star safety rating, the GT needs to be re-tested
because the front seats are different and the centre airbag has been removed.

There are six airbags, a rear-view camera with dynamic guidelines, plus Autonomous
Emergency Braking (AEB) with car, pedestrian, cyclist detection (and junction turn

Other active systems include Blind Spot (including rear cross traffic assist), Intelligent
Speed Limit Assist (ISLA), Lane Follow Assist (LFA), Lane Keep Assist (LKA), Driver
Attention Warning with lead vehicle departure alert (DAW+), Multi-Collision Braking
(MCB) and Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).

Three top tether and two ISOFIX child seat anchors are provided.

It’s quick, very quick, belying the fact it weighs almost 2.2 tonnes. There’s no gas-
guzzling petrol engine to accommodate, but the batteries add 480kg to overall weight,
sandwiched under the floor.

Set low and distributed evenly, they give the car a low centre of gravity and solid
planted feel.

With 430kW of power and 740Nm of torque, the GT produces a whopping 80 per cent
more power than the dual motor, all-wheel drive GT-Line (239kW and 605Nm).

They’re big figures but just part of the electric experience.

Push the accelerator and the GT rockets forward, take your foot off and it stops again,
almost without the need for braking, depending how close you are to an approaching

It’s a feature of regenerative braking, which reclaims and stores energy for later use,
and is modulated via wheel-mounted paddles (no, they’re not for changing gear).

The setup is sufficient to propel the GT from 0 to 100km/h in 3.5 seconds and on to a
top speed of 260km/h.

Walk up to the car and the flush-fitting, body-coloured door handles pop out in
welcome. But they are awkward to use and right-handed people might feel more
comfortable opening the driver door with their left hand.

With a 77.4kWh battery, energy consumption is a claimed 20.6kWh/100km and the GT
has a range of 424km (WLTP).

Say what? Given those figures, the range should be 376km?

The charge port is located at the rear of the car and means backing it in each time to

After fully charging the car twice, it showed a range of 368km, followed by 373km the
second time.

We queried Kia about the difference. It says the figures may vary “significantly” and are
influenced by previous driving behaviour, much like distance to empty is in a petrol

“When previous driving patterns include high speed driving resulting in the high voltage
battery using more electricity than usual, the estimated distance to empty is reduced.”

Sure, but what about the maths? What it does confirm is that the harder you go in the
GT, the more quickly you’re likely to drain the battery.

This all sounds very familiar. In fact, very much like driving a high performance V8.
In comparison, the entry level Air RWD model has a range of 528km; the RWD GT-
Line, 504km; and the AWD GT-Line, 484km.

Four drive modes are offered along with electronically modulated suspension in the GT
that adjusts based on speed, road surface, plus cornering, stopping and acceleration.
It is also designed to limit squat and dive during rapid acceleration or braking.

An electronic limited slip rear diff also helps to even out the application of power.
As well as Eco mode to maximise range, there’s Normal, Sport, GT and My Drive
Mode, the latter configured to your requirements.

GT mode is accessed via a prominent green button on the steering wheel and basically
turns up the wick (it turns traction off too).

Then there’s Drift Mode which sends 100 per cent of torque to the rear wheels to allow
the vehicle to slide easily around corners with little steering input.

When exiting a corner, power is once again applied to the front wheels to improve
acceleration. Not surprisingly Kia warns Drift mode should be used in a controlled

Additional bracing has been added to increase body stiffness resulting in improved
vehicle response speeds and agile handling.

There’s also variable ratio steering and beefier brakes are fitted, with neon green
calipers to highlight their presence, plus an electric booster to reduce braking distances
(with selectable brake modes).

Although described as all-wheel drive, for the majority of time drive is actually to the
rear wheels. The front wheels come into play as required as shown by the instrument
panel graphic.

The GT is almost unbeatable away from the lights and overtaking can be accomplished
at will.

Pushing hard along winding mountain roads, the car rockets from corner to corner.
Confidence growing, braking later and later, one can feel the weight of the car start to
influence handling, as it lifts off its suspension, wanting to keep going like some kind of

But, even with traction turned off, it feels very stable, very planted and connected to the
road surface. To find the limits, you’ll need a race track.

In the end, however, driving the GT starts to feel a little too easy. You don’t have to
work at it, to finesse the outcome the way you do in a high performance V8 or turbo.
In the end, it just doesn’t feel as engaging.

Steering is heavy and uncommunicative and although tuned for Australian roads, the
ride is hard and choppy on anything but well-formed roads.

After close to 400km of mixed driving, the trip computer was showing 21.1kWh/100km,
pretty close to the 20.6 claimed.

It wasn’t that long ago that Kia sparked no interest from the German-dominated top end
of town. Betcha it has the complete and undivided attention of the cashed up, user-
choosers now.

But, as good as it might be, we’re not sure the extra performance offered by the EV6
GT is worth the substantial increase in price.

For some however the fact it can keep up with a Ferrari will be too tempting and in the
larger scheme of things, even at $120K plus by the time you put it on the road – the GT
is still a bargain for this kind of performance.

Looks: 7
Performance: 8.5
Safety: 5
Thirst: 7
Practicality: 5
Comfort: 6
Tech: 8.5
Value: 7.5
Overall: 6.8


EV6 Air RWD: $72,590
EV6 GT-Line RWD: $79,590
EV6 GT-Line AWD: $87,590
EV6 GT AWD: $99,950
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact
your local Kia dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Kia EV6 GT electric five-door SUV)

Battery type: Lithium-ion
Battery Capacity: 77.4kWh
Configuration: Dual electric motors
Maximum Power: 430 kW
Maximum Torque: 740 Nm
Fuel Type: Electric
Energy consumption: 20.6 kWh/100km
Range: 424 km (WLTP)
CO2 Emissions: 0 g/km

1 speed automatic transmission (Reduction Gear), AWD

Length: 4695 mm
Wheelbase: 2900 mm
Width: 1890 mm
Height: 1545 mm
Turning Circle: 11.9 metres
Kerb Mass: 2185 kg

Front: 380 mm ventilated disc
Rear: 360 mm solid disc

Seven years / Unlimited kilometres

About Chris Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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