2023 Kia EV6 GT Is a 576-HP Electrical Thriller

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Take one in every of my favourite reasonably priced electrical automobiles and add an enormous dose of further energy; with a formulation like that, it is no shock that I’ve come away from my first drive of the 2023 Kia EV6 GT with stars in my eyes. The GT is not simply the quickest EV6 variant, it is the quickest manufacturing automobile the model’s ever constructed, hauling ass from 0-60 mph in a blistering 3.4 seconds, leaving many sports activities coupes and roadsters observing its sizzling little hatch because it rockets away. Nevertheless, satisfying that want for velocity comes at a value — each a direct enhance to the underside line and oblique reductions in effectivity and vary — that have an effect on the EV6’s stellar worth.

Energy up

Nobody with a pulse would name the usual EV6 AWD’s 320 horsepower and 446 pound-feet of torque gradual, however the EV6 GT is on a totally completely different degree. That is as a result of the GT’s electrical motor configuration can also be utterly completely different. Kia’s engineers took the extra {powerful} 160-kilowatt rear electrical motor from the usual EV6 and moved it to the entrance axle. They then sourced an much more {powerful} 270-kW motor to fill in on the rear by way of a restricted slip differential. Collectively, the twin motor system delivers a mixed 576 hp and 546 lb-ft, a achieve of 256 ponies and 99 torques over the earlier greatest.

The rubber meets the highway by way of a set of Z-rated 255/40R21 Goodyear Eagle F1 efficiency tires wrapped round distinctive 21-inch wheels. Extra energy and extra grip earn the EV6 GT that 3.4-second 0-60 mph declare, 1.3 seconds faster than Kia’s personal twin-turbo V6-powered Stinger GT2 — faster, Kia likes to level out, than a Ferrari California T, Porsche 911 Targa 4 or Mercedes-AMG GT. Nevertheless, the EV6 GT’s 161 mph prime velocity implies that the 167 mph Stinger continues to be the quickest automobile in Kia’s lineup.

I’m able to check the EV6’s acceleration on the drag strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, all 4 tires squealing momentarily on the ready launch floor as I flooring the accelerator for the launch. The whine of the electrical motors take over, accompanied solely by the frenzy of wind earlier than crossing the road on the finish of the quarter-mile in simply 11.64 seconds at 118.4 miles per hour. To repeatedly ship full-send acceleration, the battery should be above 70% and battery temperature should be optimized by activating a Most Energy Output Mode toggle within the EV6’s menus. Drop beneath that state of cost and the EV6 could provide much less energy, however not a lot that I observed within the sportiest drive modes on the highway.

I do discover that Kia’s Energetic Sound Design noise generator has had the amount turned up on its combustion-motor-sound-alike Dynamic setting. It is extra aggressive and, when stopped, you’ll be able to even “rev the engine” with the accelerator pedal for a little bit of gimmicky enjoyable that may solely be heard within the cabin. In the meantime, the Trendy and Cyber sound themes are unchanged and simply as quiet as in CNET Automobiles’ new long-term EV6 Wind. After all, the EV6 GT is greatest skilled with the Energetic Sound Design turned off for largely unadulterated silent operating punctuated by a little bit of elevated electrical drivetrain whine throughout full-throttle acceleration.

Slight tweaks to the entrance and rear bumpers give the EV6 GT a extra aggressive look.


Dealing with upgrades

There’s extra to the EV6 GT than simply energy. The electrical sizzling hatch additionally options an upgraded suspension with new electronically managed lively dampers and a trip that’s noticeably extra agency and responsive in all of its drive modes. Experience top, curiously, is unchanged. The GT’s chassis has been stiffened at strategic factors to offer the suspension a greater platform underneath which to work, and the steering has been retuned to a tighter 2.30 turns from lock-to-lock, sooner than the two.67 turns for the remainder of the lineup.

I’ve already talked about the enlarged wheels and sticky rubber. Peer behind the spokes and you may spot the EV6’s boldest exterior options, the neon-green massive brake improve. Up entrance, four-piston calipers seize 15-inch rotors whereas single-pots with 14.2-inch discs dwell on the rear. Greater than only a good look, the enlarged stoppers shave 6.6-feet off of the EV6 GT’s stopping distance, braking from 62 mph in 141 ft. 

Extra importantly, the brakes enhance consistency and fade resistance for the 5,732-pound EV6 GT (176 kilos heavier than a GT-Line mannequin) throughout extra aggressive road and monitor driving at increased potential speeds.

The EV6 shines on the highway in its distinctive GT mode. Thumbing this neon inexperienced button units the powertrain, suspension, steering and stability packages to their most aggressive, reworking the already responsive E-GMP chassis right into a backroad plaything. Noticeably extra highway noise and bumps make their manner into the cabin by means of the firmer suspension, narrower sidewalls and extra supportive sport seats, however the GT by no means feels harsh or uncomfortable.

A hidden Drift mode permits smokey slides with the flick of the accelerator.


Later, I make my approach to the dealing with course exterior of LVMS the place I will push the bounds of the sticky contact patches. Seat of the pants and fingertip suggestions is sort of good and the regen-assisted braking feels pure. I am even in a position to run a lap within the one-pedal braking mode and nonetheless preserve a fairly good tempo. The EV6 does not precisely cover its weight, however GT mode’s elevated energy output and extra beneficiant stability management limits permit the EV6 GT to rotate extra freely as I muscle it round corners, wagging its tail a bit as I roll onto the extraordinarily linear throttle and even permitting a little bit of a drift for drivers courageous sufficient to maintain their foot in it.

The EV6 GT is each straightforward to drive shortly and cleanly, but additionally dramatic and playful once you need it to be. I definitely would not name it a monitor automobile with efficiency that feels tuned to wow greatest on the road and on the freeway, however ought to you end up behind the wheel on a closed course, it is a heckin’ good time.

Extra energy, much less vary 

The EV6 GT is powered by the identical 111.2 kWh (77.4 usable) “Lengthy Vary” lithium-ion battery pack as the remainder of the EV6 household — the one battery within the US now that the “Normal Vary” EV6 Gentle base mannequin has been dropped from the lineup attributable to low demand. The charging {hardware} can also be unchanged; CCS DC quick charging from 10% to 80% at a 350-kW station takes round 18 minutes, or round 73 minutes at a 50-kW station. Stage 2 dwelling and public charging by way of the ten.9-kW onboard AC charger takes round 7 hours for a full cost and the EV6 GT retains the automaker’s vehicle-to-load energy output characteristic with the included adapter.

Learn: Kia EV6 GT House owners Get 1000 kWh of Free Electrify America Charging

Nevertheless, extra power-hungry motors, stickier tires and elevated mass take a toll on the EV6 GT’s effectivity and vary. At an EPA-estimated 206 miles per cost, the GT falls wanting the GT-Line’s 252 miles and the Wind AWD’s 282 miles.

The EV6 GT continues to be pretty environment friendly at 79 mpge, however you might be getting 96 to 109 mpge in the usual AWD configuration.

Antuan Goodwin/CNET Automobiles

In its Eco drive mode, which makes use of solely the rear motor when cruising, I used to be in a position to common 3.2 miles per kilowatt-hour for the primary third of the day, about on par with a straightforward day in our long-term EV6 Wind. Nevertheless, switching between Regular, Sport and GT modes for the twisty segments, causes the effectivity to drop considerably — partially as a result of tuning, but additionally as a result of extra aggressive driving it encourages — bringing my end-of-day effectivity to 2.8 miles/kWh, surprisingly a hair higher than the EPA’s estimated 2.4 mile/kWh goal. Turning over the keys with 143.2 miles pushed and 28% left within the battery, the journey laptop estimated round 51 miles remaining. (Nevertheless, these numbers do not embrace the heavy-drain on monitor and drag strip testing, which had been executed in separate automobiles.)

Energy brokering

The EV6 GT mannequin sits on the prime of the EV6 hierarchy, beginning at $62,695 together with the $1,295 vacation spot and arriving at dealerships now. Loaded up with all the bells and whistles, the additional energy and efficiency prices you about $4,000 greater than a comparably outfitted GT-Line mannequin. That is not an amazing premium for lots extra energy, however contemplating additionally that the diminished effectivity and vary means barely increased operation and comfort prices. Plus, the GT can be produced in additional restricted numbers with solely 2,000 to 2,500 coming to the US, making it tougher to search out and extra vulnerable to markups.

For many drivers the nonetheless very succesful and plenty-powerful Wind GT-Line trim continues to be the candy spot within the lineup. However for fans who do not thoughts sacrificing a little bit of practicality for an entire lot extra efficiency and velocity, the 2023 Kia EV6 GT is a really candy trip and is the spec to buy.

Editors’ observe: Journey prices associated to this story had been coated by the producer, which is frequent within the auto business. The judgments and opinions of CNET’s workers are our personal and we don’t settle for paid editorial content material.

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