Kia Motors Europe has discussed further details of the upcoming EV6 GT electric performance flagship, set to become the “most rapid production Kia and Hyundai Motor Group vehicle to date”.
Just last week Kia Australia confirmed details of its testing and tuning program for the upcoming halo model – starting on the undulating bends of the Nurburgring Nordschleife, and going through its final stages on Australian roads.
The flagship is due to launch in Australia during the fourth quarter of 2022, with local and pricing and specification to be detailed closer to that time.
We’re anticipating the company’s new flagship to be priced around the $100,000 mark, with the brand’s local division reporting a number of $2000 deposits have already been placed.
With 430kW (585PS) and 740Nm, the EV6 GT is Kia’s most powerful production car ever, quoting a 0-100km/h time of 3.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 260km/h.
These figures match the “estimated” targets Kia set at the reveal of its new “dynamic halo” over a year ago. Here we’ll confirm more details of the GT’s enhancements over standard models, at least for the European market, given local specifications may differ slightly.
Key to the performance gains is a new rear electric motor that bumps power by 63 per cent compared to the rear motor fitted to regular EV6 models. On its own, the EV6 GT’s rear electric motor makes 270kW (6800-9400rpm), adding to the front motor’s 160kW (4400-9000rpm).
The most powerful existing variant of the EV6, the AWD dual-motor version offered locally solely in GT-Line trim, makes 239kW and 605Nm combined. It manages to dash from 0 to 100km/h in 5.2 seconds on its way to a top speed of 185km/h.
As standard the EV6 GT comes fitted with the long-range 77.4kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which the European arm says is good for a claimed 424 kilometres of driving range. Further, it can be charged from 10 to 80 per cent in as little as 18 minutes.
In addition to the extra grunt, Kia has upgraded cooling performance with a coil pack flushed with oil in addition to the existing water cooling for the electric motor.
Kia says this system helps to maintain “stable temperatures even in extreme conditions and during sustained high-speed operation”.
Other measures include reinforcing the bearing cage and permanent magnet arrangement in the rear performance motor’s structure, which the company says help to manage the increases in heat, centrifugal forces, and noise and vibration generated when the rear motor “operates at its upper limits.
Further NVH suppression has apparently been achieved with a new dual-piece motor shaft as well.
The company has made numerous changes to the EV6 GT’s suspension componentry compared to the standard vehicle, with the aim of offering “a breadth of dynamic capabilities to rival the best sporting grand tourers”.
There’s a new two-arm setup for the MacPherson strut suspension which claims to better manage vertical movements and maintain consistent contact with the road surface under increased cornering loads.
There are new springs as well, which are 9 per cent softer at the front and 11 per cent stiffer at the rear compared to the standard European model – resulting in a 5mm lower ride height. The EV6 GT has a 15 per cent stiffer rear anti-roll bar too.
Additionally, the EV6 GT gets a unique variable gear ratio steering system, which quotes 2.3 turns lock-to-lock for the GT compared to 2.67 for the standard EV6.
Kia Australia recently detailed its local ride and handling tuning program that’s already commenced on local roads, hot off the heels of initial dynamic testing at the Nurburgring Nordschleife in Germany. It could mean the local tune could differ from the quoted European adjustments – read more on that here.
An electronic limited-slip differential (e-LSD) with Smart Traction and Smart Yaw Damping functions automatically shuffles torque to the wheels with the most grip, while also balancing road-holding and comfort in line with the “long-legged GT brief”.
The GT features Electronic Control Suspension (ECS) with semi-active high-performance dampers which are unique to the performance model, and can be tailored according to the chosen drive mode.
Speaking of drive modes, there’s a new GT drive mode accessed via the new neon button on the steering wheel. The new mode automatically configures the EV6 GT’s motors, braking, dampers, e-LSD and ESC into their most aggressive settings for maximum attack.
The ESC allows a greater level of tyre slip, and can be switched off altogether for “heightened oversteer potential”, according to Kia Europe’s media release.
On the topic of oversteer potential, there’s an available Drift Mode that can send up to 100 per cent of power to the rear “for unconstrained sideways action,” and then drive can be distributed back to the front wheels on exit to improve grip and acceleration.
Michelin Pilot Sport 4S performance tyres will be fitted to the Kia EV6 GT in Europe, which have been specifically designed for this vehicle.
They measure 255/40 R21 compared to the EV6 GT-Line AWD’s 255/45 R20 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV tyres offered in the European market.
Behind the sticky tyres and big 21-inch alloys, there are larger 380mm front and 360mm rear ventilated brake discs with four-piston front callipers. Kia says one of the reasons for choosing the new 21-inch alloy wheel package was to accommodate the larger brakes.
Said brakes feature an Integrated Electronic Booster (IEB) which claims to reduce braking distances, with Normal and Sport modes allowing drivers to tailor the sensitivity of the brake pedal.
It combines with the existing regenerative braking system, which is calibrated to peak at 150kW recuperation, which when combined with active braking, peaks at “over 300kW recuperation” in the EV6 GT. Like standard versions, there are six regenerative braking levels, including an i-Pedal mode that allows for one-pedal driving.
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