Kia has confirmed its most powerful electric car ever for Australian showrooms in 12 months’ time – and it could be joined by one of its cheapest.
The 2023 Kia EV6 GT electric performance SUV will arrive in Australia in approximately 12 months’ time – while a more affordable 58kWh battery could be made available for standard EV6 models.
Due in Australian showrooms in late 2022 or early 2023 – with an exact launch window to be announced closer to launch – the EV6 GT is the most powerful and fastest-accelerating Kia ever built, pairing dual electric motors with a 77.4kWh battery for combined outputs of 430kW and 740Nm.
Kia estimates a zero to 100km/h sprint time of 3.5 seconds – significantly quicker than the 5.2-second time recorded by 239kW/605Nm, all-wheel-drive ‘standard’ EV6 models, due in Australia in February or March 2022 – towards a “targeted” top speed of 260km/h.
An electronic rear limited-slip differential helps transfer power to the tarmac. Other upgrades include 21-inch alloy wheels, performance brakes, green accents, revised exterior styling, leather and suede upholstery, and the figure-hugging sports bucket seats from the Hyundai i30 N hot hatch.
Kia Germany estimates 400km of WLTP driving range, with the range-topper capable of the same 18-minute 10 to 80 per cent fast charge as the rest of the range, using a 350kW DC socket and the car’s 800-volt electrical architecture.
Pricing for the Kia EV6 GT will be confirmed closer to launch, though it’s likely to become the most expensive Kia ever sold in Australia, surpassing the $81,990 drive-away of the Sorento PHEV large SUV.
2022 Kia EV6 58kWh: Cheaper model on the cards
While at launch Australians will only be offered the larger of two batteries available with the Kia EV6 globally (a 77.4kWh pack), buyers in Europe and South Korea can opt for a smaller 58kWh unit, paired to a single 125kW/350Nm electric motor, or dual motors developing 173kW/605Nm combined.
WLTP driving range claims fall at 371km with all-wheel drive, or up to 394km with rear-wheel drive, with claimed 0-100km/h times of 6.2 or 8.5 seconds for each drivetrain layout respectively.
Drive understands the smaller battery has been homologated for sale in Australia – opening the door to a local launch, should Kia Australia decide to offer it – however it’s believed there are no immediate plans to introduce the 58kWh unit.
It’s in contrast to sister brand Hyundai, which is expected to introduce the smaller 58kWh battery in the related Ioniq 5 next year, as a cheaper option to lower the base price from the $71,900 before on-road costs of the most affordable 72.6kWh variant currently available.
The 2022 Kia EV6 will arrive in Australia in base and GT-Line forms (with a 77.4kWh battery) in February or March 2022, ahead of the full-fat EV6 GT in late 2022 or early 2023.