The 800 V, we already knew it in the Porsche Taycan and the Audi e-Tron GT. Now the Kia EV6 is in the supercharger league. And to further highlight its uniqueness, the Kia EV6 is adorned with a really interesting body style, just like its drive on the road. Presentation of the model that announces the revival of the Kia brand.
Dimensions & extra fast charging
Kia has found a strong argument for its latest electric model by having an 800-volt architecture. This allows for very fast recharging. Concretely Kia proposes to recharge 100 km in less than 5 minutes. To my great surprise, I was able to verify this quickly during a test drive in the south of France. Simply amazing. This car is 4.70 m long, 1.89 m wide and 1.55 m high and weighs just over 2 tons! The design of the EV6 was led by Luc Donckerwolke. The designer wanted to mark this model with an unusual futuristic and deliberately dynamic style. Korean debt with a mischievous look, an atypical rear end and broad shoulders.
Interior and trunk
On board, the style is in sharp contrast with the mix of recycled materials and natural leather. The whole thing is welcoming with a wheelbase of 2.90 m. Unfortunately, rear passengers can’t place their feet under the front seats. Nevertheless, the knee room and headroom are quite satisfactory. The trunk space is 520 l without the subwoofer and 480 l with the extra speaker. The 40 l difference is the volume of an underfloor bin. The rear seats can recline and fold down. This gives a maximum payload volume of 1300 l. A small trunk in the front allows you to store the first aid kit, the triangle and the V2L module. Note that the EV6 is capable of towing an unbraked hitch of 750 kg and a braked trailer of 1600 kg.
The dual 12.3-inch display will become the new standard at Kia. They are complemented by the augmented reality head-up display. No camera center mirror, it’s a classic mirror. Just like the exterior mirrors. However, cameras broadcast the surroundings to avoid the blind spot directly on the screen behind the steering wheel, on the side related to the activation of the turn signal light, really effective! Kia’s excellent idea, which I hope will become widespread, is the touch strip on the console allowing you to control either the air conditioning or the multimedia without having to go through the menu on the central screen. A list of handy shortcuts that quickly becomes indispensable. Such a plug can also be found in addition to the USB-C plugs, including those on the back of the front seats for rear occupants.These same seats are equipped with a support to hang a jacket. This car is definitely made for traveling.
Specifications and performance
On the Kia EV6, energy is distilled by two synchronous motors: under the hood for the front wheels and to drive the rear axle. The rear axle is the main energy provider. The block at the front is there for extra power in Sport mode and to drive the front wheels when the all-wheel drive system requires it, via a clutch. It is also used for regeneration during braking. The latter can be adjusted via paddles to juggle between freewheeling and slowing down with little to no accentuation when you let go of the gas pedal. It is through these that you can activate the “i-Pedal” driving with a pedal. The battery has a useful capacity of 77.4 kWh.
Autonomy and charge
With the 20 inches mounted on the model I drive, the battery gives 484 km of autonomy and even more than 600 km in exclusively urban driving. Let’s say that with 100 % battery, we can count on more than 350 km on the highway and 400 km on a mixed route. But the strength of the EV6 is its charging speed on an ultra-fast Ionity charging station. In short, a fast charge from 10% to 80% in 18 minutes is possible.
The Kia’s DC charger doesn’t use its maximum 240 kW power continuously. It works in steps, but an Ionity stop on the side of the highway near St Tropez proved what the brand representatives said: it goes fast, very fast. Barely enough time to take a technical break at the toilet and the car went from 53% battery to 80%. That’s just a few minutes. If you do the math, the average was 190 kW during our power break, although the system slows down at the end of the cycle. But this is still very impressive. And it really changes us from long breaks in parking lots, with the possibility to recover 100 km in “only” 5 minutes. And as Kia is quite optimistic about the capabilities of the lithium-ion battery of its 5-door, it offers a “V2L” device. It is a module to be installed on the Type 2 connector of the car… to connect an electrical appliance, with a classic 220 V plug of 3.6 kW. This can be used to power an electric barbecue, a sound system, a coffee maker or even to organize a mini concert improvisation for the most creative.
The EV6 has an original chassis. The shock absorbers, developed by ZF, work with a valve system. These valves should ensure a better absorption of the defects on the road. It is by taking the bumpy road of the village of Gassin that I could feel that the shocks were faded. In addition, the car has a small amount of roll in some curves, which earned it a “very good” rating for handling and steering feel.
The EV6’s acceleration is really exciting. And even explosive in Sport mode with a 0 to 100 km/h time of 5.2 seconds. In conventional driving, without making sure to drive with eggs under your feet or aiming for the clock, our averages on non-built-up routes, ranged from 18.1 kWh/100 km to 20.6 kWh/100 km.
Roadness magazine verdict
Every year, almost every month, a manufacturer improves the electric car. Now the Kia EV6 enters the prestigious court of superchargers. Beyond its atypical charm, the Kia EV6 demonstrates that manufacturers are working relentlessly to improve the “usability” of electric cars. The Korean car eliminates the tedium of long recharging times when traveling, provided that the right charging station is found, while taking care of the essence of electric driving: silence, acceleration and the omnipresence of digital technology.
Kia EV6, from 46 450 € – kia.com