Um …. Yes, that car there is a Kia. And if it’s nearly as good as it looks right now, it could be the electric car equivalent of the female Korean golfer. In case you missed it, Korean women have struck fear in the hearts of the status quo rulers of the sport. Eight of the top 20 female golfers in the world are Korean, including the three at the top of the rankings.
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Yeah, the Korean-made EV6 – due for arrival in some markets later this year, but likely later in Canada – has that sort of potential in the auto world.
It’s really fast
At the close of a long, slick new Kia video, the GT edition of the EV6 is lined up among an assortment of gas-powered supercars for a sprint race. And the only one that beats the Kia is a McLaren. Initial data shows the 577-hp EV6 GT going zero to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds and reaching a top speed of 260 km/h. Even the “slow” version with the smaller battery is quick enough for most of us, with zero to-100 km/h times ranging from 5.2 to 6.2 seconds, (depending on 2-wheel or AWD options).
It looks great, outside and in
The boxy Kia Soul may induce laughter. The Niro is something you could live with. By contrast, and I mean sharp contrast, the EV6 is something you’d want to show off. Outside, you get sleek and sporty, a sorta SUV crossover that looks like it might do the limbo under a parking gate. Rims are futuristic and cool, showcasing bright yellow brake calipers à la BMW. And inside, instrumentation counters the Tesla trademark touchscreen rectangle in favour of a wide, seamless screen. In a nod to sustainability, seats will be made of recycled plastic, offered as vegan leather or suede (depending on the model).
It’s really fast to charge
The EV6 GT will be equipped with a 77.4-kWh long-range battery pack and all-wheel drive, while the rear-wheel-drive entry model will come with a 55 kWh battery. That should be good for a range of up to 510 km for the GT and more than 400 km for the base model. The news here, however, is that the EV6 will be able to charge on higher-voltage chargers, with the ability to charge from zero to 80% in just 18 minutes.
And here’s the kicker: Kia claims that the same heat-pump thermal management that will allow for speedier charges will also equip the EV6 to retain up to 80% of its optimal range in temperatures as low as -7 C.
It’s likely to be reasonably priced
KIA has been mum on pricing, but the expectation is that the EV6 could start as low as $56,000 CDN. Even if it doesn’t qualify under the $45,000 (base models) and $55,000 (premium models) federal and provincial rebate minimums, you’ll be looking at a load of features and performance for the price. Other than the GT model, it looks to be at least $10,000 less expensive than its chief rivals, notably the Tesla Model Y.
Yeah, I know. It’s a KIA, not a BMW. What will the build quality be like? And while it may be fast, how will it feel to drive? For hints of how that might work out, we can now look to the reliability and real-world experience of the lower-priced Kia Niro, and to the 2022 Ioniq electric crossover that will share the same new Kia Electric-Global Modular Platform as the EV6.
Can’t wait to give it a spin.