KIA’S FIRST PURE ELECTRIC VEHICLE IS UNDER TEST DOWNUNDER

Kia’s first dedicated BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) has been subjected to Kia Australia’s rigorous Ride and Handling Program.

The company’s Australia’s Ride and Handling Engineer, Graeme Gambold, who has localised the ride of over 50 Kia models during the last 10 years, came away astonished by the performance of the EV6.

“I just love driving the Kia EV6, it’s a car that just wants corners. It is so engaging and so rewarding to drive.

“Personally, as a chassis dynamist, I think the biggest part of that enjoyment is the width of the battery in the car. A typical ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle has an engine and a drivetrain that has a high centre of gravity but it’s all in the centre of the vehicle therefore it works like a moment in roll. But with a dedicated BEV, it has a big flat battery in it, so it has to lift the energy on the inside to actually upset the car, creating a very flat roll dynamic. This makes the EV6 feel very light, nimble and responsive.”

2022 KIA EV6

“One of the things we are always tuning for in Australia is large body movements on country roads at 100 km/h and that is always manifested with a high centre of gravity roll dynamic in conventional cars. Electric cars don’t have as much of that, they have a lot of vertical movement, because of the weight but they don’t have the lateral roll, so we can use that as a bit of a tuning tool.” Graeme explained.

General Manager of Product at Kia Australia, Roland Rivero, is very proud of Kia Australia’s commitment to its Local Ride & Handling Program.

“Our local tuning program is part of our DNA and a key component to Kia’s success in Australia. We’ve aimed to inject a fun-to-drive character in our products, but most importantly give drivers the feeling of control and confidence when driving a Kia in a variety of conditions.” said Rivero.

Kia EV6 is the first dedicated Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) produced by Kia using the all-new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) and forms the first part of Kia’s transition to the new era of electrification under the new brand slogan, ‘Movement that inspires’.

Kia Australia’s Ride and Handling Engineer, Graeme Gambold

EV6 is the first of 11 new BEV models due from Kia arriving by 2026 with seven built on E-GMP architecture and four derivative EVs based on existing models.

Along with the EV6, the Concept EV9 represents the brand’s recent leadership in designing and developing desirable, high-tech, zero-emissions vehicles and recently set out its vision to become a truly sustainable, responsible, and innovative mobility solutions leader, announcing a commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045.

Around 500 units of the EV6 have been earmarked for Australia during 2022 and the allocation will be staggered throughout the year. Kia Australia says it’s in continuous dialogue with head office about this number with hopes of increasing it.

The EV6 will be sold through the Kia dealer network and over 90 per cent of the Kia dealer network is currently set up to sell and service EV6.

Kia EV6 will initially be introduced in Australia with the long-range (77.4 kWh) high-voltage battery pack only and offered in two grades; base in rear-wheel drive only and GT-Line with RWD or all-wheel drive AWD options, the latter offering enhanced dynamic capability in even the most challenging conditions.

The performance ‘GT’ version of the EV6 with follow in late 2022 or early 2023.

 

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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