The new Kia EV6 redefines electric mobility with exhilarating performance
October 11, 2021 – The all-new Kia EV6 brings long-range, zero-emissions power, high-tech 800V ultra-fast charging and distinctive crossover styling to the all-electric vehicle market. The EV6 is Kia’s first car to be based on the company’s highly advanced and dedicated architecture designed specifically for battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
This pioneering crossover – the first BEV launched under the new Kia design philosophy ‘Opposites United’ – displays a future-oriented EV design characterised by high-tech details. It is powered exclusively by electric energy, with a choice of multiple long-range, zero-emissions powertrain configurations. The high-tech 800V charging capability means EV6 can go from 10 to 80 per cent battery charge in just 18 minutes, while the GT version, engineered to inspire consumers with exciting driving performance, will accelerate from 0-to-100 km/h in 3.5 seconds with a top speed of 260 km/h.
The EV6 is the first dedicated BEV designed and developed by Kia, based on the all-new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), and forms the first part of Kia’s transition to the new era of electrification under the new brand slogan, ‘Movement that inspires’.
The EV6 also begins the mid-to-long term strategy for BEVs, plug-in hybrid (PHEVs) and hybrid electric (HEVs) vehicles to make up 40 per cent of Kia’s total sales by 2030, with an annual sales target of 1.6 million units for these eco-friendly models. As part of this, Kia aims to grow its BEV sales to 920,000 units in 2030 and become a top global seller. Kia plans to strengthen its EV line-up with 11 BEV models by 2026, the first of which is the EV6. Of these 11, seven will be built on E-GMP architecture, and four will be derivative EVs based on existing models.
“EV6 is the embodiment of the new Kia. It is born to inspire every journey, through bold design, progressive engineering, innovative technologies, and exciting electric performance,” Ho Sung Song, Kia’s President & CEO said. “EV6 also represents the beginning of Kia’s long-term commitment to sustainable mobility, accelerating the transition not only to clean transportation, but also products, materials and manufacturing.”
The EV6 will be produced in South Korea. Online reservations have been open since March 30 in some markets, with European deliveries scheduled to commence later in 2021.
Dedicated architecture equals a dynamic BEV
Some years ago, Kia’s design and engineering teams were posed with a challenge: create aBEV that has a leading zero-emissions driving range, ultra-fast charging, stylish form and a spacious, high-tech cabin. That was the first part to the challenge. The second element was to integrate all those critical attributes within a vehicle package that has power, performance and dynamism, in the process dispelling myths that BEVs are boring, and that they will signal the end of driving pleasure.
In March of this year, Kia unveiled the EV6 to great global acclaim. The next-generation state-of-the-art BEV realizes a leading zero-emissions real-world driving range, ultra-fast charging technology, a cutting-edge design and specious high-tech cabin. In addition, from behind the wheel, the EV6 is a driver’s car, combining power and performance with a dynamic and sporty drive.
Most BEVs are compromised in one form or another – be that limited driving range and long charge times, an incommodious interior space, bulky weight or poor driving dynamics. When Kia started to work on the EV6, our engineers were determined to set a new bar and provide customers with a vehicle that is the total package in this respect – a BEV with none of those compromises. With the EV6 Kia has proved that all drivers can drive long and far in a BEV, making it a sporty, fun and very engaging journey.
EV6 – no compromise on performance
By being conceived on Kia’s all-new, state-of-the-art Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) – a dedicated BEV architecture – the EV6 delivers the very best characteristics and attributes of a fully electric car without compromise.
While many other BEVs currently on the market struggle with shortcomings that are associated with being developed on architectures originally created for cars running on internal combustion engines (ICEs), the EV6 has been optimized from the ground-up to be a full electric vehicle from the very start, taking advantage of the E-GMP’s sophisticated tech and engineering foundations.
As a result, the EV6 blends excitement with efficiency, responsive dynamics with rapid charging and power and pace with zero-emissions driving.
In true Kia form, the EV6 has been developed to continue Kia’s sporty driving appeal, featuring direct steering responses, a highly agile ride, precise and linear performance and road grip that boosts the ‘fun-to-drive’ ethos. During the latter parts of the EV6 development program, a lot of the testing and final stage optimisation work was undertaken on public roads to make sure the end product successfully fused the different drive, ride and handling traits.
The dedicated E-GMP architecture ensures that the EV6 benefits from optimal driving characteristics thanks in part to a balanced weight ratio split of 53:47 – a leading arrangement for a BEV application. This has been achieved by placing the cutting-edge flat battery pack across the floor of the vehicle, spreading the mass and helping to optimise ride quality. It also gives the EV6 a low centre of gravity for a full electric vehicle, enabling superior performance especially on captivating and bendy roads.
Based on a clean-sheet design from the very start, the EV6 also overcomes other inherent drawbacks that challenge the ride and handling characteristics of many BEVs currently on the market, including overly aggressive acceleration pitching and throttle response. Highly innovative hydraulic bushings that connect the rear subframe to the main body of the car help to further enhance the EV6’s driving performance and offsets the overall weight typically associated with fully electric vehicles.
The EV6 performs optimally in different driving environments and situations thanks to its four advanced drive modes – Eco, Normal, Sport or Snow – which the driver can select by the touch of a button. Attributes such as torque mapping, steering, ESC and energy consuming systems are managed by the vehicle’s intelligent drive tech to provide the most suitable driving experience at all times.
Further accentuating the EV6’s favourable handling characteristics is a state-of-the-art damper setup that pairs a sporty drive with a level of comfort and refinement not usually associated with such agile cars.
The new technology incorporates the usual damper and suspension components, but also adds an additional piston to adjust the amount of pressure on the rebound disc stack, consequently allowing the rebound damping force to be based on the input frequency. This allows the rebound damping force to be adjusted dynamically based on the input frequency introduced into the damper by the unevenness of the road. This innovation delivers a solid and sporty ride at lower frequency inputs and a smooth and comfortable drive at higher frequencies. The technology especially comes to the fore when taking on dynamic snaking roads and, at the other end of the driving spectrum, when encountering pothole-ridden lanes and uncomfortable cobblestones.
The EV6 also features the world’s first mass-produced Integrated Drive Axle (IDA) that integrates the wheel bearing and the drive shaft into one part that transmits the motor power to the wheel. This integration prevents defects occurring in the drive shaft and wheel bearing connections, while improving ride and handling through an increase in axle stiffness.
Blistering performance with a dynamic drive
Equipped with high-tech 430 kW dual motors, the EV6 GT takes electric performance to another level. The EV6 GT is available exclusively with the long-range 77.4 kWh battery pack. With a maximum torque output of 740 Nm, the EV6 GT accelerates from 0-to-100 km/h in an eye-watering 3.5 seconds and can reach an expected top speed of 260 km/h. The addition of an electronic-Limited Slip Differential adds to the EV6 GT’s alluring appeal.
The emphasis on offering a sporty and performance-oriented drive extends throughout the EV6 family and it is not just limited to the range-topping EV6 model.
The EV6 line-up offers buyers a choice of multiple fully electric, zero-emission powertrain configurations, including long-range (77.4 kWh) and standard-range (58.0 kWh) high-voltage battery packs.
The 2WD 77.4 kWh model can travel up to 528 kilometres (328 miles) on a single charge on the WLTP combined cycle. The 77.4 kWh battery pack is paired with a 168 kW (229ps) electric motor powering the rear wheels.
800V ultra-fast charging
The EV6 offers 800V and 400V charging capabilities without the need for additional components or adapters. The car is capable of a high-speed charge from 10 to 80 per cent in just 18 minutes on all variations, or a top-up charge of 100km of driving range in less than four and a half minutes when pairing the 2WD model with the 77.4-kWh battery option.
The car’s charging system is more flexible than previous generation BEVs thanks to an Integrated Charging Control Unit (ICCU). The ICCU enables a new vehicle-to-load (V2L) function, which is capable of discharging up to 3.6kW of power from the vehicle battery via a simple adapter that turns the exterior charging plug into a power socket. The adapter plug will be market specific, enabling EV6 to help charge anything from external domestic appliances to other EVs. As an example, the V2L function can operate a 55-inch television and air conditioner simultaneously for more than 24 hours.
Inside the cabin, a handy charging port located under the rear seats allows passengers to charge devices from the vehicle’s battery without the need for additional adapters.
Furthermore, the EV6 is designed to tow up to 1,600kg when equipped with the 77.4kWh battery both in RWD and AWD configurations.
The Utility Mode allows important systems to continue operating when the vehicle is turned off. When in Utility Mode, the high voltage battery powers the air conditioning, lights and infotainment system without any risk of draining the 12V battery.
The EV6 will indicate when its charge is low and using dynamic POI’s and real time availability status, the driver will be guided to the nearest charging station using the onboard navigation system. Kia’s relationship with part-owned Ionity offers EV6 customers access to reduced kWh prices at over 400 high power charging stations across 24 European countries via the Kia Charge solution. The Ionity network uses the leading European charging standard CCS (Combined Charging System) and is sourced by 100% renewable energy meaning EV6 drivers can travel emission-free and carbon neutral.
The Kia Charge solution (provided by Digital Charging Solutions- Available in Ireland from march 2022 ) gives EV6 owners additional access, and POI guidance, to around 205,000 charge points across Europe, including AC and DC connectors. The Kia Charge app provides a link between the Charge Point Operators and Kia, as the Mobility Service Provider that manages subscriptions and payments for three levels of membership subscription depending on usage levels.
The EV6 is fitted with energy-recuperation technologies to maximise driving range. This includes Kia’s latest-generation energy-efficient heat pump, which scavenges waste heat from the car’s coolant system. This ensures that at -7 degrees Celsius, the car can achieve 80% of the range that would be possible at 25 degrees Celsius.
Also featured is the latest generation of Kia’s smart regenerative braking system, which is operated by paddle shifters behind the steering wheel so drivers can quickly and easily slow the car and recuperate kinetic energy to maximise driving range and efficiency. Drivers can choose from six regenerative braking levels (none, 1 to 3, ‘i-PEDAL’, or auto mode), depending on the desired level of energy recuperation. The system’s ‘i-PEDAL’ driving mode also allows the car to harvest the maximum amount of energy from its brakes and enables the driver to bring the car to a gentle halt without needing to push the brake pedal.
New design direction
The EV6 was designed under the brand’s new design philosophy, ‘Opposites United’, which takes inspiration from the contrasts found in nature and humanity. At the centre of the design philosophy is a new visual identity evoking positive forces and natural energy, with contrasting combinations of sharp stylistic elements and sculptural shapes.
Karim Habib, Senior Vice President and Head of Kia Global Design Center, elaborated: “EV6, as the first dedicated Kia EV, is a showcase of human-centred, progressive design and electrified power. We strongly believe EV6 is a compelling and relevant model for the new EV era. With EV6, we aimed to create a distinctive, impactful design by using a combination of sophisticated, high-tech features on pure and rich volumes while providing a dedicated EV aiming to define our future.”
Designed to deliver something different in the crossover class, the GT version of the EV6 offers a distinctive, impactful exterior with high-tech features, as well as unprecedented levels of performance from a Kia electric vehicle.
At the front, Kia’s ‘tiger face’ has been re-interpreted for the digital era. Forming part of this ‘Digital Tiger Face’, daytime running lights display a sleek, modern appearance and include a ‘sequential’ dynamic light pattern. Below this, a low air intake visually widens the front of the car, accentuating its high-tech image.
The side profile displays a crossover-inspired silhouette, which is modern, sleek and aerodynamic. A character line runs along the bottom of the doors, curving upwards towards the rear wheel arches to visually elongate the profile of the car. Designed in part to realise ultimate aerodynamic performance, the rear displays a sloping C-pillar with an integrated black glossy insert which appears to extend the window glass. Above this sits a prominent wing-type roof spoiler that channels air downwards towards a raised lower spoiler, which sits atop the car’s unique rear light cluster.
Inspiring interior space
A distinct product of the EV era, the interior design benefits greatly from the application of Kia’s dedicated E-GMP platform. Despite the EV6’s compact exterior dimensions, its 2,900mm wheelbase results in a cabin space similar to many mid-size SUVs.
Jochen Paesen, Vice President for Interior Design, commented: “People are first attracted by the exterior of cars, but they eventually fall in love with the interior – where they spend most of their time. So, designing an inspiring space for the EV6 was the most important thing for us. We believe EV6 can inspire customers by boosting their creativity.”
One of the most striking elements is a seamless high-tech curved infotainment screen. The simple form language of the widescreen and dashboard gives the interior an open feel.
Front passengers are greeted by a lean, minimalist dashboard architecture that emphasises the cabin’s remarkable sense of space. With no need to house a central transmission tunnel, the EV6’s flat floor provides rear-seat passengers with 990mm of legroom for exceptional comfort.
An innovative new HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) system further enhances front passenger comfort and interior space. By incorporating an HVAC architecture that is split between the inside and outside of the cabin, the size of the interior portion of the HVAC system is reduced by 55%. This optimal layout helps ensure a slimmer cockpit design and more space for front seat passengers, all while securing optimal cooling performance.
Special relaxion seats enable the driver and front passenger to relax in supreme comfort and luxury when the EV6 is parked or charging. At the touch of a button, the seats will lift and recline, optimising posture and body pressure distribution while allowing occupants to stretch out, read a book or get some sleep. Their lightweight, slimline designs further enhance the EV6’s interior space.
Premium materials are used throughout the EV6’s cabin for a welcoming feel, while their selection has also been chosen for utmost durability. Sustainable materials have been used, from vegan leather trims to seat fabrics and floor carpet made using recycled plastics, equivalent to 111 plastic 500ml water bottles.
All of the EV6’s primary controls are located within easy reach of the driver for an intuitive driving experience. The vehicle’s space-saving Shift-By-Wire selector is conveniently placed alongside the EV6’s starter button on the centre console, while the sleek steering wheel integrates key ADAS switches for maximum operability. Touch-type control switches for the EV6’s heated steering wheel and ventilated and heated seats are also within easy reach for optimal user convenience.
The EV6 offers intelligent and flexible interior packaging and an abundance of cabin storage areas, including up to 520 litres (VDA) of boot space with the second-row seats in place. With the second-row seats folded down, stowage capacity increases to approximately 1,300 litres. The car also features a front trunk (frunk) which provides up to an additional 52 litres of storage space for 2WD models and 20 litres for AWD models.
Sound absorption materials in the floor, wheel arches, doors, tailgate and tyres reduce road and wind noise, creating a quiet and serene space for all occupants. An acoustic windscreen and door glass further improve the onboard experience giving the EV6 a sound rating equal to higher class premium models.
EV6 introduces a suite of technologies that enhance safety, connectivity and infotainment. They are designed to make travelling safer, easier and less stressful.
The high-tech infotainment system includes two curved 12.3” high-definition widescreens, which have thin film panels that utilise new structures and advanced technology for reducing the impact of light. The cluster and infotainment system are connected as if they were wrapped around one body with reinforced glass. Directly in front of the driver is a customisable ‘cluster screen’ which displays information such as speed, remaining all-electric range and state of charge. Adjacent is a central display screen combining the navigation, infotainment and menu systems. This pair of frameless screens feature light-reducing film and ‘auto-bright’ functions to make visibility easy in all light conditions.
Advanced onboard tech smoothly integrates the driver and EV6 via the advanced head-up display (HUD) system with Augmented Reality technology – an offering normally reserved for premium brands. Seamless communication between GPS, the onboard camera and HUD systems project turn-by-turn directions 7.5m on the road ahead to keep the driver looking forward at all times. The augmented reality display and the two screens provide all the information the driver needs to have a pleasant and inspiring drive without having to look elsewhere.
Leading-edge safety and convenience systems
To ensure safety and convenience out on the motorway, EV6 features Kia’s latest Highway Driving Assist with lane change support (HDA 2) package. Using radars located around the vehicle, the system can help the driver to maintain a set distance and speed from the vehicle ahead while Lane Following Assist (LFA) technology centres the vehicle in its lane. Using Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control with Curve Control (NSCC-C), the system can reduce the vehicle speed through curves and reset the speed once conditions allow.
In case of an adjacent vehicle driving in close proximity, HDA 2 assists by adjusting the EV6’s path, avoiding any possible risk of collision. Changing lanes is also now easier than ever. With the driver’s hands on the steering wheel and above a certain speed, a click of the indicator stalk will automatically move the car into the corresponding lane.
The EV6 features Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM) and Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist (BCA) systems to ensure lane changes are made safely every time. BVM acts as a second pair of eyes by eliminating the driver’s left- and right-hand side blind spots by displaying a high-definition view within the EV6’s fully-digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster. BCA uses radar sensors to warn the driver of approaching vehicles, with the system activating the brakes if there’s a risk of a collision during lane change manoeuvres.
Safely navigating junctions, particularly those that feature multiple lanes, can often be a stressful experience for many drivers. Kia’s Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) system now includes Junction Turning and Junction Crossing functions aimed at providing maximum preventative safety when navigating junctions. If the EV6’s turn signal is activated, the system will warn the driver if there is a collision risk with an oncoming vehicle. Similarly, a warning is provided if there is a risk from vehicles approaching from the left or right when the driver is travelling straight across a junction. If either risk increases, the system will warn the driver and automatically apply the brakes to avoid a collision.
Key to a vehicle’s safety is the ability to see and be seen. To provide the very best levels of illumination, the Kia EV6 features the new Intelligent Front-lighting System (IFS), a technology that enables each LED to light independently to deliver a precise lighting experience. IFS allows the driver to travel with a permanent high beam without any risk of dazzling oncoming traffic. A front view camera featuring vehicle recognition technology automatically dims or brightens each individual LED, enhancing the driver’s forward vision while protecting oncoming traffic from glare in real-time.
Driver Attention Warning (DAW) and Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA) add to the ADAS systems keeping the driver safe on the road. DAW determines the driver’s attention level by analysing their driving pattern and time on the road. The system will recommend a break via a warning message on the cluster display when the driver’s attention level falls below ‘1’ on the 5-point scale. ISLA ‘reads’ road signs and navigation system information to inform the driver of the current speed limit and other key driving information. When activated, ISLA will use a visual and audible warning to alert the driver to a change in road conditions.
Manoeuvring made easy
Parking and other potentially tricky manoeuvres are made easier with Surround View Monitor (SVM). Cameras display a 360-degree view around the car, with the display conveniently located on the EV6’s infotainment screen.
Reversing out of a tight space is also made safer thanks to Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA). This high-tech system detects oncoming vehicles approaching from either side when reversing. Should a potential collision be detected, the system will automatically brake the vehicle.
For those tight parking spaces, drivers can call upon the EV6’s Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA) system to take the hassle out of parking entirely. RSPA is a feature that enables the vehicle to park itself autonomously, whether or not the driver is in the vehicle. Using surround view cameras and ultrasonic sensors, the EV6 can highlight a parking space of a suitable size and automatically steer itself into the space, with automatic control of accelerator, brakes and gearshift. What’s more, RSPA can park the vehicle in both perpendicular and parallel parking bays.
Once parked up, if rear-seat passengers open the doors to disembark, Kia’s Safe Exit Assist (SEA) system will automatically provide a warning and lock the door if an approaching vehicle from the rear side is detected within the EV6’s blind spot, helping to reduce the risk of a collision and enhancing safety at the end of a journey.
For added convenience, the EV6 also features Kia’s Smart Power Tailgate. By pocketing EV6’s Smart Key and approaching the rear of the vehicle, the system will recognise the key and open the tailgate automatically, allowing easy and convenient access to the boot, a boon for those whose hands are full. Keyless entry with touch-sensitive entry button and programmable driver profiles make every interaction with EV6 convenient and intuitive.
Every aspect of the EV6 has been designed to promote driver convenience and make EV ownership a viable option available to all. With Kia’s seven-year warranty and outstanding position in the market, EV6 will fundamentally change the EV landscape.
EV6 – just the start of the journey
Kia is aiming to grow its BEV sales to 920,000 units in 2030 and become a leading global seller of sustainable e-mobility transport. Kia plans to strengthen its electric vehicle lineup with 11 BEV models by 2026, the first of which is the EV6. Of these 11 developments, seven will be built on E-GMP architecture, and four will be derivative electric vehicle offerings based on existing models.