The EV6 is Kia’s first car to be based on the company’s dedicated new architecture for battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
This pioneering crossover – the first dedicated 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 two long-range, zero-emissions powertrains. 800V charging capability means the EV6 can go from 10-to-80 per cent battery charge in just 18 minutes.
The EV6 is the first dedicated BEV produced by Kia using 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 its new brand slogan, ‘Movement that inspires’. It also kicks off the brand’s mid-to-long term strategy for BEVs, plug-in hybrids (PHEV) and hybrid electric (HEV) 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. Kia aims to grow its global BEV sales to 880,000 units in 2030 and become a top global seller. EV6 is the first of 11 new global BEV models from Kia by 2026 – seven of which 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 and 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 exterior design of EV6 is a powerful representation of ‘Power to Progress’. An evolution of the brand’s strengths in design, EV6 is a culmination of skills and expertise collected throughout Kia’s design-led transformation; investigating the future and beyond.
At the front, characteristic daytime running lights display a sleek, modern appearance. They form part of the car’s ‘Digital Tiger Face’, a design progression evoking the spirit of Kia’s ‘Tiger Nose Grille’ for the electrified era. The design of the lamps also includes a ‘sequential’ dynamic light pattern. Below this, a low air intake visually widens the front of the car, accentuating its high-tech image. Part of the optimisation of air flow from the front, the air is channelled through and under the car’s flat floor for optimum aerodynamics.
The side profile displays a crossover-inspired design aesthetic, which is modern, sleek, and aerodynamic. This contrasts with sharp lines and high-tech details to create a sense of tension in the design. A swept-back windshield provides dynamism and purpose, while bold rear haunches add volume. A character line runs along the bottom of the doors curving upwards towards the rear wheel arches, visually elongating 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 visually widens the window glass. Above this sits a prominent roof spoiler that channels air down towards a raised lower spoiler that sits atop the car’s unique rear light cluster.
EV6 is the result of a collaborative effort between all three studios in Kia’s global design network in Namyang (Korea), Frankfurt (Germany), and Irvine (California, US).
Based on Kia’s dedicated E-GMP architecture, the EV6’s cabin benefits from class-leading interior space and functionality, thanks to the flat battery under the floor, and minimal front and rear overhangs. 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 occupants with 990mm of legroom for exceptional space and comfort. For those sat up front, there is a roomy 1,078mm of legroom on offer. Despite the EV6’s relatively compact exterior dimensions – it’s no longer than a compact saloon – its 2,900mm wheelbase is longer than that of the Sorento SUV, the largest car Kia sells in the UK. This results in cabin space on part with 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 of the new interior is a seamless high-tech curved high-definition audio visual and navigation (AVN) screen. The simple form language of the wide curved screen and the slim dashboard give the space an open feel. Extending from the steering wheel across to the centre of the car, it displays an instrument cluster in front of the driver, with infotainment and navigation above the centre console. The width of the screen creates an immersive experience for the driver, while a minimal number of physical buttons creates an uncluttered and soothing driving experience.
Below the AVN screen sits the car’s new multi-mode display, something which will feature in future Kia cabin designs. This replaces physical buttons with a dedicated ‘haptic’ touchscreen, providing easily accessible shortcuts to control HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and the infotainment and navigation system. Instead of delving into sub-menus, the multi-mode display allows drivers to keep more attention on the road, with quicker access to the car’s most often used features, such as changing the temperature or adjusting the audio volume.
Below this panel the dashboard slopes away towards the front of the car, creating a sense of space and openness for the front-seat passengers. 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 per cent. This layout ensures a slimmer cockpit design and more space for front seat passengers, while securing optimal cooling performance.
Premium relaxation seats, on ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’ models, enable the driver and front passenger to relax in supreme comfort and luxury while the EV6 is parked or charging. At the touch of a button, the seats can lift and recline, optimising posture and body pressure distribution, while allowing occupants to stretch out, read a book, or have an 18-minute cat nap while they recharge their vehicle. The seats’ lightweight, slim-line design further enhances 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. The cabin is trimmed in a range of sustainable materials, with seats that are slim, lightweight and contemporary, and trimmed in vegan leather. Sections of the dashboard and centre console are clad in recycled plastics, equivalent to 107 plastic 500ml water bottles per car.
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 convenience.
Kia’s E-GMP architecture is designed exclusively for its electric vehicles, and makes its debut in the Kia EV6. This provides immediate advantages over adapting existing platforms designed to accommodate a combustion engine. The E-GMP architecture ensures that EV6 provides a new electrification experience with powerful driving performance, ultra-fast charging, increased range, and enhanced safety.
From launch, EV6 buyers have a choice of two fully electric, zero-emission powertrains – RWD and AWD – based on long-range (77.4kWh) high-voltage lithium-ion polymer battery packs as standard.
EV6 ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’ models are available with both rear- and all-wheel-drive. The well-equipped ‘Air’ is the entry point into the EV6 line-up and is sold exclusively with rear-wheel drive. This is Kia’s first electric vehicle to be available with a choice of RWD or AWD options – the latter offering enhanced dynamic capability in all on-road driving conditions.
The RWD EV6 can travel up to 328 miles on a single charge (WLTP combined cycle). With a power output of 226bhp and maximum torque of 350Nm, it can sprint to 62mph in 7.3 seconds and reach a maximum speed of 114mph. The AWD EV6 with dual motor has a more muscular 321bhp on tap, and 605Nm of torque. It accelerates to 62mph in just 5.2 seconds, with a top speed of 114mph.
The flagship of the EV6 line-up, the ‘GT’, is due on-sale in the UK in the final quarter of 2022, and will possess 577bhp and a mighty 740Nm of torque. Final performance figures are yet to be ratified, however Kia powertrain engineers are targeting a top speed of 162mph and a 0-62mph acceleration figure in an eye-watering 3.5 seconds. The final figures will be announced in advance of the car’s 2022 arrival. With the addition of electronic-Limited Slip Differential software to the EV6 GT version only, drivers will enjoy confident control and dynamic ride and handling in all conditions.
“The GT version of EV6 demonstrates our technological leadership through its combination of outstanding high-speed charging and acceleration performance like a super sports car. With our dedicated EV platform, there is no need for compromise between inspiring spaciousness and performance,” said Albert Biermann, President and Head of R&D Division for Hyundai Motor Group.
EV6 is the first of 11 all-new BEVs to be launched by Kia by 2026