Electric vehicles have a cool feature that doesn’t get highlighted often enough: the same battery that powers the electric motors can also be used to power external appliances and electronics.
Kia Canada chose a unique way to demonstrate this: the very first EV6 to arrive on Canadian soil powered the guitarist’s amp while Canadian singer-songwriter Fefe Dobson performed her upcoming single, Fckn In Love, in an exclusive live concert to commemorate the launch.
The Kia EV6 is the brand’s first product built on Hyundai Motor Group’s E-GMP dedicated platform for electric vehicles. Here’s what we know after taking a live and up-close look at the vehicle.
A short-range version exists, but Canada won’t see it
This is the right call: range anxiety is a major barrier to EV adoption in Canada, and Kia Canada representatives point out that they have other products in their line-up for those who don’t see long range as a priority. The EV6 will be positioned as a flagship vehicle for the brand and will be sold here in its long-range version only, which employs a 77.4 kW battery to achieve an estimated (and as-yet untested) range of 480 kilometres on a single charge in the base rear-wheel drive model. The brand expects selecting the all-wheel drive version, which will comprise the majority of sales in Canada, will shave roughly 25 kilometres off this range, and selecting the higher-powered, range-topping GT model will take off another 25 kilometres. That still puts the minimum range estimate at an approximate and unofficial 430 kilometres, which is robust enough to meet Canadians’ expectations.
The EV6 will be capable of high-speed charging
With the EV6 being capable of 400-volt and 800-volt charging, it will be compatible with the fastest Level 3 public chargers currently available. At an 800-volt charger, the EV6 will go from 10 to 80 percent charge in 18 minutes.
Three trims will be available at launch
The base EX model will be sold with rear-wheel drive as standard, which will employ a single electric motor on the rear axle to produce 225 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. That torque will be fully available from a complete stop, as is the case with all electric vehicles. The EX will also be available with all-wheel drive, which will be standard on higher grades. The EX AWD and GT Line will add a second electric motor to the front axle for a total output of 370 hp and 446 lb-ft of torque. On the line-topping GT performance grade, both motors receive an output bump to produce a total of 576 hp and 545 lb-ft of torque. Aside from the power increases, these trims will be differentiated with standalone exterior bumpers and other surfaces, and four wheel styles will be offered ranging in size from 19 to 21 inches.
The EV6 is extremely aerodynamic
Efficiency is paramount in electric vehicles. Kia reports that the EV6 achieves a 0.28 coefficient of drag, which is a remarkably low figure thanks to the EV6’s relative flat hood and windshield line, active air intakes, and sculpted underbody.
Sustainable materials are used in the interior
EV buyers are eco-conscious as a rule, and Kia has acknowledged that here by incorporating vegan leather and suede into its interior finishes.
Its technology is designed to be modern but usable
The EV6 features a pair of 12.3-inch screens mounted below a single pane of glass, one being the digital instrument cluster and the other an infotainment screen. (The fact that it looks an awful lot like the configuration Mercedes-Benz has been employing for several years now is hard to ignore.) A head-up display that incorporates augmented reality graphics will also be available. The car we previewed could not be started, so we don’t have much information on what these systems will look like in action as of yet.
The exterior design looks better in person than we expected
The preview images of the EV6 showed some unique styling cues that made it hard to predict what the vehicle would look like in real life, but a cursory first look makes a strong impression. Exterior lighting is LED-based all around, and while the intricately detailed headlamps are eye-catching, the most impressive detail is in the wraparound taillamps, which meet with the rear wheel wells at a dramatic angle and employ a faceted chrome accent to reflect the red light. An integrated rear spoiler projects a welcome light onto the ground from the rear of the vehicle, and the door handles are flush to the surrounding surfaces, a Kia first. Inside, a dedicated electric platform allows for a flat interior floor, which creates space for leg room and storage.
We’ll still need to wait a few months to drive it
The first deliveries of the Kia EV6 are expected to take place early in 2022.