HomeCOMPARE EVSKia EV6 GT grand tourer debuts at Goodwood with 430kW

Kia EV6 GT grand tourer debuts at Goodwood with 430kW

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During the Goodwood Festival of Speed next week, Kia will debut its first electric performance car, the EV6 GT.

This new model will be EV6’s top performance model, with 430kW (577bhp) twin-motor powertrain. At the Festival, which takes place from June 23-26, rally driver Jade Paveley will drive the car. A display of the EV6 GT will also be on display at Goodwood’s ‘Electric Avenue’.

Despite the fact that Goodwood will be the first time the machine has run in public, Move Electric has already seen it up close – in fact, we’ve ridden in it… Although Move Electric prefers to drive than sit in the passenger seat, we have a highly qualified pilot for our test drive: Albert Biermann, the recently retired head of research and development at Hyundai Motor Group. Besides being the brains behind Hyundai’s N division, Biermann now serves as a consultant to Hyundai and Kia. 

“It’s not a racetrack car. It’s designed for long distance touring and provides good speed, while also being enjoyable to drive.” he said. Kia probably hasn’t caught your attention lately if you need to ask. The EV6 crossover is one of the finest electric cars on the market today, and the brand has come a long way. 

Currently, the model is available with a dual-motor powertrain that offers a not insignificant 239kW (321bhp). Originally, Biermann said, that was intended to be the range-topper, not the GT. He said (without naming names) that the idea came about when someone asked “can we have an electric car that is really competitive and can beat some other EVs.

The EV6 GT in which Biermann spoke to us is a “cross between a prototype and a pre-production car.” We found it pretty finished, but we are not car development experts. When you look at the GT model, and even sit in it, it doesn’t look that different from the regular EV6. This car has a unique clamshell bonnet, new bumpers, a small rear aero spoiler, neon brake calipers, and special 21-inch alloy wheels. Inside, we found the machine very comfortable, with suede-trimmed bucket seats and GT badging.

The EV6 GT has also been extensively reworked. Moreover, all the development on the machine was done in-house by Biermann. I said ‘let me talk with my engineers’ and they said ‘no problem, we have solutions for performance cars.’ There were suggestions like ‘can we talk to Rimac’ [the Tesla-backed EV hypercar manufacturer] but I said ‘let me talk with my engineers’!” With a pair of 160kW motors, it still uses Hyundai’s E-GMP platform (also used by Hyundai’s award-winning Ioniq 5 and Genesis GV60). Unlike most rear motors, the rear motor is paired with two inverters, which convert the DC current from the battery into AC power, resulting in an increase of 110kW of power. 

As a result, the car’s total system output is 430kW and 546lb ft of torque, which translates into a 0-62mph time of 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 161mph. With an official range of 263 miles, the GT retains the EV6’s 77.6kWh battery and 2.7mpkWh efficiency. An EV6 GT can be charged ultra-fast, with a 10-80% fill taking 18 minutes, as with other E-GMP models. We travelled mostly on unrestricted German autobahns from Kia’s European headquarters in Frankfurt. EV6 GT’s ride and handling can’t be discerned well from that distance, but Biermann’s eagerness to showcase the car’s power was enough to demonstrate its impressive acceleration.

Adding that the E-GMP chassis is “a fantastic base to start with”, no fundamental changes are required: “it can handle this level of power”. On the front axles, a lower control arm is present, as well as a tuned suspension and steering. A new version of Kia’s e-LSD limited slip differential was also installed, which balances power between the four wheels, as well as upgrading the active dampers. e-LSDs and active dampers help balance out the machine’s weight of 2125kg, according to Biermann. EV6 GT was designed to balance performance with comfort at high speeds, and to be as happy cruising peacefully as it is pushed hard. During our ride, Biermann experimented with various Drive Mode settings. A big button on the steering wheel lets you access the GT drive mode in addition to Eco, Normal and Sport modes on all EV6 models. 

With this mode, the steering is firmer, the ratios are fixed, the damping is tightened, the e-LSD is tightened, the motor response is increased, and the stability control system is reduced. Bibermann altered the nature of the EV6 GT immediately, but, crucially, it still maintained a decent level of ride comfort and balance. We won’t know for sure until we drive it on a twisty, winding road.

Aside from the I-pedal system, Biermann praised the machine’s brake recuperation system. While he initially wasn’t a fan of the system, he now uses it when cornering on a flowing country road to help balance the load transfer. It’s probably an eventual hot version of the Genesis GV60, similar to the upcoming Hyundai Ioniq 5 N. Biermann asserted, however, that the GT’s set-up leaves room for other fun cars.

It’s likely that the Ioniq 5 N is set up very differently from the EV6 GT, likely with a more hardcore focus on performance. 

Later this year, the EV6 GT will be available. You can confidently predict the price will be higher than the current top-spec twin-motor EV6 GT-Line starting price of £53,595 Biermann joked, however: “To have something comparable to this car, you’d have to spend more than twice as much. For the week, you can have one EV6 GT in grey, and for the weekend, one in a bright color.”

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