Kia’s EV6 GT is a 576hp supercar in a handsome $60K CUV package

Kia’s EV6 GT is a 576hp supercar in a handsome $60K CUV package

When Kias are beating Ferraris and Lambos off the line and priced lower than premium sedans, you know something special is happening.

Kia flew us out to the desert landscape outside of Las Vegas to drive the new GT version of the popular EV6. We’ve been anxiously waiting on this one for a while and finally got to sample the delicious speed and handling of Kia’s new flagship vehicle.

KIA EV6 GT specs:

We like to get the good stuff out of the way first:

  • 576-HP or 430kW (160kW front motor and a 270kW rear motor)
  • 0-to-60 mph in 3.4 seconds, with a top speed of 161 mph
  • 77.4 kWh battery 
  • Larger diameter disc brakes (15-inch front/14.2-inch rear) with quad-piston front calipers
  • 800V Charging system: 10-80% in 18 minutes, under the right conditions
  • Racing-inspired sport bucket seats and neon green dash accents

And the bad:

Charging and Range

The GT retains the fastest charging in the industry, like other Kia EV6/ E-GMP 800V vehicles, at nearly 300kW. But the range you get with that same kWh on EPA cycle is shockingly almost 50% lower than the most efficient 310 Mile EV6 variants at just 206 miles. That’s due to the heavier motors, bigger tires, and overall optimizations for speed rather than range.

Kia, however, pointed out that the EPA test required them to spend half the time in its least efficient mode and would be changed next year to yield a significantly higher number. In real life, if you are on a trip, you probably aren’t testing the 0-60 times and top speed (like I was on this trip). I can confirm it is the least efficient E-GMP platform vehicle I’ve driven, which is actually impressive since I just reviewed the Genesis GV60 with a paltry 235 miles.

So what that means is that you will probably get about 230 or so miles of real range, and a 20-minute stop at an EA 350kW charging station will give you 70% of that back, or around 160 miles between stops, optimally. That’s not a bad road trip.

(Note: Like with every other EV driving junket, no fast charging demonstrations or opportunities were offered. We’d love it if this became part of the experience since it is something consumers want to know about.)

EV6 GT’s need for speed

Everything in this car is directed at pumping energy toward those large motors. Kia tells us they put the motor of the RWD 160kW EV6 in the front of the GT and then threw an even bigger 270kW motor in the back. That gives it around 100 more horsepower than either the Tesla Model Y Performance or the Mustang Mach-e GT performance. It also allows it to be the fastest of the three while still coming in at an impressive $8,000 price savings.

But why keep the competition strictly in the EV field? Kia smartly brought out some choice ICE supercars with more pizazz than acceleration a year ago for a drag.

That means the EV6 GT gets to 60mph faster than the Ferrari Roma and the Lamborghini Huracan EVO Spyder RWD. We got the top speed over 125mph fairly quickly, and Kia says the GT tops out at 160mph. Kia made a video of their car versus some middle-of-the-road supercars from supercar brands.

Kia’s EV6 GT performed well in its own video, only getting beaten slightly by the McLaren 570S, which is a feat in itself.

Kia EV6 GT right on track

We know the GT goes from 0-60 fast, but how did it perform on the track?

In my limited track experience, it did exceptionally well. My most recent trip to the track before this was the Porsche Taycan GTS (which was, admittedly, a whole ’nother level), but the EV6 GT and its slick 21-inch tires performed admirably, hitting speeds well over 100mph while keeping me firmly in control.

The stiffened suspension, huge brakes and 21-inch tires really shined here. Cornering was fun, and the car could take more g’s than my body wanted. It also slowed down alarmingly fast with those huge brakes, which were often not needed against the .4 g’s of regen coming from all four wheels.

Perhaps most impressive was the lack of sound – inside and outside the car. As others rounded the track, all you could hear were screeching tires and whooshes of wind.

Kia EV6 GT on the road

Most people won’t spend a lot of time with their cars on a drag strip or a racetrack, and thankfully, Kia had a lovely route through the Las Vegas desert planned for us. On the way to a depressingly depleted Lake Meade, we learned that the florescent Yellow “GT” button on the wheel was nothing to be messed with. If pressed while accelerating, a quick jolt of energy will push you forward, as if you’re getting rear-ended. We also got to see some amazing desert in the Valley of Fire region nearby. It was hard not to push the car to its limits, especially since the speed limit for most of the ride was 45 miles per hour. But that gave us enough for some eye candy shots.

Electrek’s take:

I was pleasantly surprised at the performance of the EV6 GT, and not just the straight-in-line speed. It felt extremely solid on the track at 100mph speeds. It was fairly easy to drift if that’s your sort of thing. It feels like a race car inside and out. That translates to lots of confidence on the roads – merging onto freeways and passing semis is a breeze. Turns are tight. It behaves like a $100K car.

But really, this car is a brand exercise, and I don’t think Kia is going to make a ton of these. Kia made several points of noting that it no longer saw itself as a value brand and noted its customers kept getting wealthier and wealthier over the past 30 years.

The EV6 GT replaces the Stinger as Kia’s halo car and indicates that Kia plans to run with premium vehicles, like the Model Y and Mustang Mach-E, in the new world of high-end and high-speed electric vehicles.

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