The Kia EV6 is one of the more intriguing electric vehicles to have been announced over the past few months. Like sibling brand Hyundai’s Ioniq 5, the EV6 will use a new 800 V electric car platform called E-GMP, which boasts extremely rapid fast charging and a raft of other interesting design details. On Tuesday night, Kia took over Times Square in Manhattan to formally unveil the EV6 in the US, ahead of deliveries scheduled for early 2022.
Hyundai went for a rather retro look for the Ioniq 5. Instead of looking backward, Kia chose to clad the EV6 in a crossover body that’s more than a little reminiscent of the Lamborghini Urus. That comparison might get a little more pointed in late 2022 when the EV6 GT arrives—that one will beat the Lamborghini SUV in a drag race, at least to 60 mph.
Four powertrain configurations
Kia has announced four different powertrain combinations for the EV6. The entry-level EV6 will come with a 58 kWh battery and a single 167 hp (125 kW) electric motor driving the rear wheels. A second rear-wheel-drive EV6 will be available with a larger 77.4 kWh battery pack and 218 hp (162 kW) from its motor.
Next is an all-wheel-drive EV6 with the larger battery; this has a total output of 313 hp (233 kW), which Kia says should equal a 0-60 time of 5.1 seconds. And finally, there’s the EV6 GT, which also uses the larger-capacity battery and a motor for each axle, but this time with a combined 576 hp (430 kW)—Kia estimates this version will reach 60 mph from a standstill in just 3.5 seconds.
Kia says that range estimates will be announced closer to the EV6 arriving at dealers but that it’s targeting 300 miles (482 km) “across several configurations.”
As we’ve previously reported, E-GMP uses an 800 V electrical architecture, which, among other benefits, means it should be capable of impressive DC fast-charging speeds, at least when connected to a 350 kW charger. Kia says that you’ll be able to add 70 miles (112 km) in just five minutes and that charging from 10 to 80 percent should take 18 minutes, which should put the Kia high on the list of acceptable EVs for people interested in electric road trips. Charging at home on a 40 A circuit will take about seven hours to go from 10 to 100 percent state of charge, thanks to the EV6’s 11 kW onboard charger.
Charge another electric car with your electric car
Additionally, the EV6’s battery pack is capable of powering more than just the car itself. The car’s integrated charging control unit can provide up to 1.9 kW of power through a 110 V socket at the base of the second row of seats or via an adapter that fits onto the car’s charge port. You can even use it to charge another EV (slowly, at 1.1 kW), and starting with a full battery, the EV6 will happily output 1.9 kW for 36 hours or until the pack reaches 10 percent. (Jonny Smith at the Late Brake Show demonstrates how the vehicle-to-load function works on the Ioniq 5 in this video, should you wish to know more.)
Size-wise, the EV6 will be a little more compact than the Ioniq 5. We don’t have the full dimensions yet, but we do know that it features a 114.2-inch (2,900 mm) wheelbase, which is about 4 inches (100 mm) shorter than its Hyundai cousin.
That’s still as much wheelbase as a Kia Telluride SUV, and unlike the Telluride, the EV6 isn’t trying to contain three rows of seating, just two. The payoff for carrying fewer passengers is being able to carry more cargo—27.7 cubic feet (785 L) of cargo with the rear seats in use or 53.5 cubic feet (1,515 L) with the seats folded flat.
As is the trend for new EVs, the interior contains an abundance of recycled materials as well as artificial leather instead of dead-cow hide. There’s a pair of 12-inch screens—one for the main instrument display, a second for the infotainment—and an augmented reality head-up display will be available for some EV6 trims.
Kia says it will start accepting preorders for the EV6 First Edition on June 3. Only 1,500 First Editions will come to the US, and they will be available in three unique color combinations. Kia isn’t ready to reveal pricing for the EV6 yet.
Listing image by Kia