An electric Kia faster than a Lamborghini? The 2023 EV6 GT, powered

A red Kia EV6 GT in the desert
Enlarge / It takes a keen eye to tell that this is a Kia EV6 GT: the bigger wheels and neon green brake calipers are the main clue.

jonathan gitlin

LAS VEGAS—In January, we got our first chance to drive Kia’s new EV6 electric vehicle. Built using Hyundai Motor Group’s excellent new E-GMP platform, the EV6 instantly impressed us, offering a less polarizing design and more fun to drive than the also impressive Hyundai Ioniq 5. Designed as a dedicated EV platform, the E-GMP features an 800V battery pack that allows for quick and fast charging, and four-wheel and rear-wheel drive can achieve excellent levels of efficiency.

On that first ride, and then again on local roads over the summer, my time in the seat in the EV6 confirmed Hyundai Motor Group’s wisdom in hiring Albert Biermann outside of BMW to develop the manufacturers’ research and development programs. of Korean cars. But now Kia has far surpassed 11 with the new $61,400 EV6 GT, a limited production variant that can outperform some Ferraris and Lamborghinis, and ride to the soundtracks of a race track with the best of them.

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

To reduce that power, the EV6 GT rides on 21-inch wheels shod with Goodyear Eagle F1 performance tires. And to get it under control again, while Kia has increased the amount of regenerative braking from 0.3G to 0.4G, it’s also considered appropriate to equip the EV6 GT with large ventilated disc brakes (15-inch front, 14-inch front). 2 inches at the rear). rear) with monobloc calipers, highlighted in an attractive neon green paint. The car rides on electronically controlled dampers with revised spring rates and retuned steering compared to lesser EV6s, and there are unique front suspension components, plus new traction and stability control algorithms that make this a pretty fun car.

To access all that power and torque, you have to hit the neon green GT button on the steering wheel; This unlocks the full 576 hp and sets the electronic safety net to its most permissive setting. In eco mode, the EV6 GT sends just 287 hp (214 KW) of power to the engines, primarily to the rear engine for better efficiency. In normal and sport modes, the battery boosts the engines peak power to 429 hp (320 kW), which is enough to make this a fast EV despite a not inconsiderable curb weight of 5,732 lbs (2,600 kg). ). (This also explains the big brakes.)

But if you push the green button and have at least 70 percent state of charge left, the car unlocks all 576 hp. At the Las Vegas Motor Speedway race track, the EV6 GT easily ran the quarter mile in 11.5 seconds, crossing 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 quicker than rivals like the Tesla Model Y Performance and the Ford Mustang Mach-E GTand the EV6 GT will keep accelerating until the speed limiter activates at 260 km/h (161 mph).

I ran the drag strip twice and got ETs of 11,557 and 11,587 without much difficulty.  And the cars seemed capable of coping with repeated racing.
Enlarge / I ran the drag strip twice and got ETs of 11,557 and 11,587 without much difficulty. And the cars seemed capable of coping with repeated racing.

jonathan gitlin

On track, I was able to properly explore the more forgiving handling of GT mode and found a car that skids quite easily, but is easy to catch. The suspension was able to handle the curbs, although it is true that the road in LVMS is flat and the curbs are soft and do not make noise. A warm-up lap in sport mode followed by laps in GT mode confirm just how fast the latter is. And you’ll be glad to know that the brakes work well, even if you feel the mass of the car on the track when it’s time to slow down.

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