New 2022 Kia EV6 GT prototype review

Kia EV6 GT range-topper has 577bhp and a 162mph top speed

  • EV6 GT hits 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds
  • Set to cost from £58,295
  • Kia plans to offer 11 electric cars by 2026

The GT performance version of the impressive Kia EV6 has been unveiled. The stats are impressive on paper and, from our initial pre-production passenger ride, seem to be backed up. Kia’s fastest-ever production car really will be a rival for Porsches and Teslas. Read on for a verdict.

The new Kia EV6 is now on sale starting from £41,695. It sits above the Kia e-Niro SUV and is capable of up to 328 miles of range on a single charge. The EV6 is the first of 11 new electric models slated to arrive by 2026 and rivals cars like the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Volkswagen ID.4 and the Tesla Model Y. It shares a lot of parts with the Hyundai Ioniq 5.

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Ahead of the EV6 GT’s arrival in showrooms, we’ve driven a pre-production prototype to see how it stacks up against its closest rivals. Read on for full details and our verdict.

2022 Kia EV6 GT

Kia has announced that the flagship GT model will be priced from £58,295. This may seem expensive for a Kia but it is around £25,000 less than a Porsche Taycan 4S, which offers similar straight-line performance. It’s set to go on sale later in 2022 with deliveries expected next year.

Kia has revealed that the GT will have the quickest acceleration of any production Kia ever made. It’ll be powered by two electric motors that produce 577bhp, which will propel the EV6 from 0-62mph in just 3.5 seconds - comparable with a Porsche Taycan or Tesla Model X - and on to a top speed of 162mph. It’s worth noting, however, that the claimed range will fall to 251 miles (and much less if you make the most of the performance on offer).

Kia EV6 GT driving - rear

The GT will ride on 21-inch alloy wheels and boast sportier exterior styling to separate it from the rest of the range. It will also lose the GT-Line S’s panoramic sunroof to save on weight and have black suede bucket seats with neon green detailing instead of the base model’s sports seats. Standard equipment will include upgraded tech such as electronically controlled suspension with an electronic limited-slip differential and a drive-mode controller.

A battery heat pump is also standard on the GT, which is designed to maximise the car’s driving range in cold weather. It’s an option on the GT-Line and GT-Line S models. We’re told that you’ll be able to achieve 80% of the car’s quoted range in temperatures as low as -7 with the pump fitted.

Kia EV6 battery and range

All UK models of Kia’s striking new crossover will be available with a 77.4kWh battery, instead of the entry-level 58kWh version offered in other markets, and either rear or all-wheel drive. The entry-level, rear-wheel drive EV6, which is powered by a 226bhp electric motor, can travel up to 328 miles on a single charge.

A more powerful 321bhp powertrain is available for the higher GT Line and GT-Line S trims and cuts range to 314 miles.

Charging

Kia EV6 GT charging

Offering the very latest charging technology, the EV6 will be able to recharge from 10%-80% in just 18 minutes at a maximum of 239kW. ​​The EV6 also introduces a new multi high-speed charging system that’s compatible with ultra-fast charging and fast-charging without the need for any special adapter or on-board charger.

The EV6 can also supply electricity if it has enough charge, in what’s called vehicle-to-load (V2L). The EV6 is capable of powering electrical appliances such as phones and laptops, as well as household appliances. Kia says you’ll be able to power a 55-inch TV and an air conditioner simultaneously for more than 24 hours. It can also be used to recharge another electric car if needed.

Kia also offers a Charge solution package, with an accompanying smartphone app, which gives EV6 owners access and navigation to approximately 205,000 AC and DC charge points across Europe. Three membership levels are available depending on usage.

Interior

Moving to an EV-specific platform means the new car offers much more interior space than the current Kia e-Niro. The interior looks very smart too, with as many interesting touches as the exterior. There’s a large curved touchscreen on top of the dashboard, alongside a set of digital dials. Both are 12.3-inches in size. The heating and air conditioning controls are accessed by touch panels with haptic feedback, and the seats are upholstered in fabric created from recycled plastics - an amount equivalent to 111 plastic bottles per car.

Kia EV6 GT interior

An augmented-reality head-up display system is also available, which projects driving information onto the windscreen in the driver’s line of sight. Meanwhile, the latest version of the Kia Connect software (replacing the ‘UVO’ system) allows you to find local electric car charge points - and how much they cost - plus check the range radius and the progress of charging when it’s plugged in.

The EV6 features a lot of the new safety technology from the Hyundai Group, such as a warning that tells you if it’s not safe to leave the car - it looks out for cyclists and other vehicles. You’re also able to remotely park the car and semi-autonomous driving capability features too. Kia’s Highway Driving Assist 2 system includes adaptive cruise control, lane-change assist and technology that keeps you in the centre of the lane you’re driving in.

Practicality

The car’s platform, specifically designed for electric cars, means the EV6 should prove practical, with the batteries stashed out of the way underneath the floor. Behind the rear seats is 490 litres of boot space - about the same as a Toyota RAV4 - increasing to around 1,300 litres with the seats down. There’s also a small trunk underneath the bonnet that offers 52 litres of space (20 litres for four-wheel-drive models).

Impressively, Kia says the car can tow 1,600kg, which is comparable to a modern petrol or diesel engine. It can do this as long as there is at least 35% charge in the battery.

2022 Kia EV6 GT prototype drive

Kia EV6 GT steering wheel button

The Kia EV6 GT’s top speed is 162mph. With Albert Biermann (Kia’s Executive Technical Advisor and former head of BMW’s M Performance division) at the wheel, we reach a speed very close to that on the German autobahn – and Biermann is still chatting about some of the intricacies of the GT.

At one point he does a swift lane change, displaying the car’s extremely good body control and stability. It’s comfortable, too, even with its 2.2-tonne weight and riding on big 21-inch wheels. The ride is deeply configurable, allowing you to pick the most responsive motor setting and the most refined suspension setting.

That’s indicative of the GT’s positioning. It’s intended as a fast grand tourer, not something that’ll spend its time chomping around a race track. There’s a drift mode, but the extensive process needed to engage it suggests Kia would rather you didn’t.

Find a clear bit of road and the Kia certainly feels as quick as its on-paper statistics hint at. It’s a match for some of the quickest EVs, sitting between the Performance models of the Tesla Model X and Y. The speed continues to build after you reach 100mph, not tailing off as in lesser models.

Kia EV6 GT seats

At this speed there’s some wind and road noise, which is understandable. It’s still quiet enough for Biermann to talk about the car, though.

Like the Ioniq 5, the EV6 is bigger in the metal than it looks in pictures, measuring in at just under 4.7 metres long. The Kia also features sleeker styling than its Hyundai counterpart, with a swooping coupe-esque design over the Ioniq 5’s angular styling.

Verdict

Based on our test, the Kia EV6 is a strong contender in the sporty EV sector. While the chassis could be a little too firm for some, it’s more engaging to drive than its nearest rivals. The all-wheel-drive models, and especially the GT, feature rapid performance and a strong range, with advanced charging technology making it simple to live with. It’s also very practical and has an impressive high-tech interior. The Kia EV6 GT is a real rival to the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT and Tesla Model Y Performance.

Read our reviews of Kia’s current models here.

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