Kia continues to bolster its role in the electric vehicle space with the reveal of the new EV6 crossover. Although the EV6 is not the first battery-electric vehicle from the Korean automaker, it is the first model to strictly rely on electricity for power. Other Kia electrics, such as the Soul EV and Niro EV, are also available with gasoline- or gasoline-electric hybrid powertrains.
Like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV, the Kia EV6 rides on Hyundai Motor Company’s Electric-Global Modular Platform (or E-GMP), which allows the EV6 to come in either rear- and all-wheel-drive variants. Power to the rear-mounted or available front- and rear-mounted electric motors comes courtesy of either a 58-kWh or 77-kWh battery pack. The latter affords the rear-drive EV6 up to 316 miles of estimated driving range on Europe’s WLTP combined cycle. Expect a sub-300-mile figure on the more conservative EPA cycle.
Opt for the small battery pack and rear-wheel drive and the EV6 makes do with approximately 170 horses from its lone electric motor. Adding all-wheel drive, however, brings around 230 ponies to the EV6’s stable. Choosing the larger battery, meanwhile, nets north of 220 and 320 hp, respectively, from rear- and all-wheel-drive variants of the EV6.
Need more power? Then look no further than the all-wheel-drive-only EV6 GT. Limited to the bigger battery pack, the GT packs just shy of 580 hp from its two electric motors, which allows the high-powered hatchback to scoot from 0-to-62 mph in a manufacturer-estimated 3.5 seconds and onto a top speed of more than 160 mph.
Feel free to regularly mash the right pedal of the EV6, too, as Kia claims its upcoming EV’s 800-volt charging system allows its battery pack to go from 10 to 80 percent charge capacity in just 18 minutes. Keep the battery at more than 35 percent capacity and the EV6 will tow around 3,500 pounds, too. That said, buyers looking to get the most mileage out of their EV6 will want to make the most of the car’s regenerative braking system, which offers six different modes that are operated by way of the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
Despite the fact the EV6 and its Ioniq 5 cousin share the same underpinnings, the two clearly do not share many—if any—exterior or interior pieces. Whereas the Hyundai employs a retro-futuristic and simple design, the Kia’s styling takes on a more dramatic and sporting shape. Low-mounted headlights, muscular fenders, a floating roofline, and taillights that span the width of the body bring an athletic, if somewhat generic, look to the EV6.
The sporting theme makes its way into the cabin, as well, with the EV6 incorporating a driver-oriented dashboard that includes a pair of 12.0-inch displays. A handsome mix of light and dark materials adds an upscale feel to the space.
Look for Kia to reveal more information about the EV6 later this month when it formally unveils the new model, which we expect to hit our shores later this year or early next year as a 2022 model.
This text was originally published on March 15, 2021. It’s since been updated with new information and images released by Kia.