An electric Kia that’s faster than a Lamborghini? The 2023 EV6 GT, driven

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Enlarge / You’ll need a sharp eye to see that this is a Kia EV6 GT – the bigger wheels and neon green calipers are the main clue.

Jonathan Gitlin

LAS VEGAS—In January, we got our first chance to drive Kia’s new EV6 electric car. Built using Hyundai Motor Group’s excellent new E-GMP platform, the EV6 immediately impressed us, with a less polarizing design and more playful handling than the equally impressive Hyundai Ioniq 5. Designed as a dedicated EV platform, E-GMP has an 800 V battery pack that enables fast charging, and the rear and four-wheel drive can achieve an excellent level of efficiency.

During that first drive, and then again on local roads in the summer, my time spent in the EV6 confirmed Hyundai Motor Group’s wisdom in getting Albert Biermann away from BMW to build the Korean automakers’ research and development programs. But now Kia has turned the dial way past 11 with the new $61,400 EV6 GT, a limited-production variant that can out-shine some Ferraris and Lamborghinis and run the rumble strips on a racetrack with the best of them.

Between the axles of the EV6 GT you’ll find the same 77.4 kWh (gross capacity) battery pack found in other EV6s – the company has discontinued the smaller battery variant (the EV6 Light) due to very low demand. But in the EV6 GT, that battery will now deliver much more power to the pair of electric motors driving the front and rear wheels. There is, in fact, a total of 576 hp (430 kW), plus a combined torque of 545 lb-ft (738 Nm), split between a 215 hp (160 kW) front engine and a 362 hp (270 kW) engine rear engine with an electronic limited slip differential.

To put down that power, the EV6 GT rides on 21-inch wheels shod with Goodyear Eagle F1 performance tires. And to rein in the weather, although Kia has increased the amount of regenerative braking from 0.3G to 0.4G, it is also deemed appropriate to equip the EV6 GT with large, ventilated disc brakes (15-inch front, 14.2″ rear rear) with monoblock calipers, handpicked in an attractive neon green paint. The car rides on electronically controlled dampers with revised spring rates and re-tuned steering compared to lesser EV6s, and there are unique front suspension components, plus new traction and stability control algorithms that make this quite a playful car.

To access all that power and torque you have to press the neon green GT button on the steering wheel – this unlocks the full 576 horsepower and sets the electronic safety net to its most tolerant position. In eco mode, the EV6 GT sends only 287 hp (214 KW) of power to the motors, mainly to the rear motor for better efficiency. In normal and sport modes, the battery boosts maximum power to the motors to 429 hp (320 kW), which is enough to make this a speedy EV despite a not-inconsiderable curb weight of 5,732 lbs (2,600 kg). (This also explains the big brakes.)

But if you hit the green button and you have at least 70 percent charge left, the car unlocks all 576 horsepower. On the drag strip of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the EV6 GT easily completed 11.5 second quarter mile times and crossed the line at 118 mph (190 km/h). Kia cites a 0-60 mph (0-98 km/h) time of 3.4 seconds, a tenth of a second faster than rivals such as the Tesla Model Y Performance and Ford Mustang Mach-E GT, and the EV6 GT will continue to accelerate until the speed limiter activates at 260 km/h.

I ran the drag strip twice and got ETs of 11,557 and 11,587 without much trouble.  And the cars seemed capable of handling repeated trips.
Enlarge / I ran the drag strip twice and got ETs of 11,557 and 11,587 without much trouble. And the cars seemed capable of handling repeated trips.

Jonathan Gitlin

On the track, I was able to really explore the more permissive handling of GT mode and find a car that powerslides quite easily, but is easy to catch. The suspension was able to travel over the curbs, although it is true that the road at LVMS is flat and the curbs are smooth and not rattling. A warm-up lap in sport mode followed by laps in GT mode confirm how much faster the latter is. And you’ll be happy to know that the brakes work well, even though you notice the mass of the car on track when it’s time to slow down.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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