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Aussie demand hot for $100K Kia EV6 GT

First deliveries of hot Kia EV6 GT to coincide with Australian Open in late January

9 Dec 2022

THE word is out about Kia’s electrifying, 430kW EV6 GT, the first Australian deliveries scheduled to coincide with the Australian Open tennis tournament – of which Kia is a major sponsor – towards the end of January 2023.


Despite being the most expensive Kia yet – an industry price guide has listed it at $99,590 before on-road costs although Kia Australia is yet to officially confirm it – demand for the EV6 GT is already running hot with Australian dealers fielding hundreds of expressions of interest for the hi-po electric SUV.


The imposing, low-slung vehicle is Kia’s most powerful production car yet, using two electric motors rated at 270kW on the rear axle with a 160kW unit at the front, combining to give the 430kW/740Nm EV6 GT an 80 per cent power advantage over the all-wheel drive GT-Line variant that is the next EV6 model down the food chain. 


Kia Australia’s allocation for all EV6 variants next year is 2500 units across the four variants that comprise the 168kW/350Nm rear-drive Air and GT-Line, 239kW/605Nm all-wheel drive EV6 GT-Line and the new big bopper GT.


Given the GT’s brutal 3.5-second 0-100km/h acceleration figure and governed V-max of 260km/h, all that go needed the whoa department to be good and in that regard the EV6 GT is not lacking with locally fettled adaptive suspension and brakes by car dynamics guru Graeme Gambold following some serious development at Germany’s notorious Nurburgring.


Electronic modulation of the dual rear motors through a torque vectoring system allows multiple drive modes aided by an electronic limited-slip rear differential that varies dynamic characteristics according to the drive mode selected – including “Drift”.


The GT’s torque vectoring set-up apportions drive both front to rear and side to side, affording precise control of grip and traction at each wheel in all conditions regardless of how the vehicle is being driven.


Working with Kia engineers, Mr Gambold spent time in and around Sydney and Canberra tuning the car’s stability control calibrations, ensuring differentiation between Normal, Sport and GT modes and fine-tuning the dynamics to suit typical Australian road and driving conditions, providing what Kia claims to be “excellent” rough, urban and country road performance, handling and ride quality.


The GT features double ball joint front suspension to allow for bigger brakes and the virtual steering axis is said to result in better steering feel, while the electronically controlled suspension is adaptive and responds to inputs rather than pre-empting road conditions like some hi-tech camera-based systems.


Kia’s system constantly alters the dampers to maximise driving comfort and handling performance for the road conditions. Damping force is automatically adjusted according to the vehicle speed, road surface, cornering, stopping and acceleration requirements.


The system helps mitigate roll when cornering or making high speed lane changes and can also limit squat and dive during rapid acceleration or braking and additional bracing has been added to the GT for increased body stiffness.


Large brakes with fluoro green callipers feature Brembo 380mm discs at the front with Kia’s in-house four-piston grabbers while two-piston units at the rear work with 360mm rotors.


Push the green GT button on the steering wheel and the EV6 GT automatically configures all dynamic attributes including motors, brakes, steering, differential, torque vectoring and suspension to their most hardcore settings, transforming the character and response of the car, and provide a “highly engaging experience”, according to Kia.


A “My Drive” mode enables a driver-customised setting, then of course there is Drift mode that, when activated, sends 100 per cent of torque to the rear wheels with predictably sideways results.


However, Kia has covered off gracefully exiting a corner in Drift mode by calibrating the EV6 GT to distribute power to the front wheels again to improve acceleration.


Although the EV6 GT is the most expensive Kia yet and well into six figures once on the road, the regular EV6 range opens at $72,590 + ORC and tops out at $87,590 for the AWD GT-Line that in percentage terms is not a lot less expensive but a lot less potent.


From that standpoint, the EV6 GT represents extraordinary value for money – not least when gauged against a plethora of high-performance petrol-powered cars from all points of the compass – including Kia’s other muscle car, the Stinger GT with a twin turbo V6.


At 4.9 seconds for the 0-100kmh sprint and with “only” 274kW on tap, the Stinger would not see where the EV6 GT went.


BMW’s M3/M4? Not a chance at 3.9 seconds for the Competition model that costs around $60K more than the Kia, although it would likely catch up on a twisty road.

Performance fans would need to dig deep into their wallets and look at the forthcoming new Mercedes-AMG C63 plug-in hybrid with a combined 500kW and 1020Nm to best the Kia EV6 GT; at 3.4 seconds to triple digits it is one-tenth quicker – but at a projected price north of the current V8 model’s $168,786 plus on-road costs.


Then again, the EV6 GT is also a tenth behind the Tesla Model 3 Performance’s claim of a 3.4-second benchmark dash. And the Tesla is less expensive at $91,600 + ORC.


Range-wide standard EV6 kit includes a 77.4kWh long-range battery, LED tail lights, acoustic and solar insulated windscreen and front door glass, rear privacy glass, aero wipers, auto-folding flush door handles, power folding mirrors, exterior vehicle-to-load (V2L) capability, and a sunroof.


The GT additionally scores a specific body kit, 21-inch alloy wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres, adaptive LED headlights with LED daytime running lights and sequential indicators, a GT mode steering wheel button on the artificial leather heated steering wheel, artificial leather and suede bucket seats.


Interior accoutrements include a dial type gear selector, paddle-shifter for regenerative braking control, remote folding second-row seat release, LED interior and frunk lighting, interior V2L socket, auto electric front windows, stainless steel luggage sill and 64-colour ambient mood lighting.


In tech terms, the EV6 GT features an augmented reality head-up display, dual curved 12.3-inch screens, in-built navigation, 1- speaker Meridian sound system, wireless phone charger, USB chargers in the rear console, 12V outlet in the boot, smart key with push-button start and remote start with smart park assist, dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers, self-dimming mirror, power tailgate and heated seats for both front and rear passengers.


The Kia EV6 GT is equipped with the full suite of active and passive, primary and secondary safety equipment available from the brand.


“The GT will be a very exciting addition to the EV6 range and just like the Air and GT-Line models launched earlier this year, it is attracting a remarkable level of attention,” said Kia Australia chief operating officer Damien Meredith.


“Here is a car that combines the power, performance and agility of a track worthy sports car, while also providing comfort, on road driveability and practicality for everyday use.


“A vehicle to be the brand halo of Kia and more.”

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