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2023 Kia EV6 GT First Drive Review: Kia’s 576-hp mack daddy EV finally arrives

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2023 Kia EV6 GT action front three quarter

LAS VEGAS – That is the E-GMP automobile we’ve been looking ahead to. As nice because the Hyundai Crew triplets of Kia EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Genesis GV60 are, we’ve at all times recognized that one thing better (and way more tough) was once lurking in long term: this 576-horsepower 2023 Kia EV6 GT. In spite of impressing with their cutting-edge EV structure, distinctive designs, unique interiors and compelling price, none of them might be described as a laugh within the conventional sense. They’re heavy, somewhat cushy and take a seat roughly excessive. So, now that the EV6 GT is in any case right here, does it in truth ship that lacking component?

If it does, it is going to accomplish that stealthily, because the GT is just about not possible to inform aside from simply every other GT-Line automobile (you’ll be able to see how that visually differs from the bottom Wind trim degree right here). The frame is the same save for quite other grille inserts and rear diffuser panel. It does get 21-inch wheels and lime-green brake calipers, which might be monoblock devices greedy higher rotors (15-inch entrance, 14.2-inch rear). The inner is in a similar fashion, smartly, very similar to GT-Line, regardless that it now has lime inexperienced accents and “GT” badges. The steerage wheel additionally has a large inexperienced button categorised “GT,” which selects its maximum hardcore power mode. We’re going to get into that during a minute.

The principle distinction is the addition of sporty bucket seats, and they are a large development over the usual EV6 seats on the subject of general fortify. Large sturdy bolsters hug you, however no longer so tight to be unsightly for the ones of larger builds (I am roughly 300 kilos for reference). They have got deeper decrease sections that supply greater thigh fortify. They are heated, too, however sadly, they’re additionally most effective manually adjustable. This can be a bummer for a automobile that prices greater than $60,000 and for a range-topping Kia, an organization that prides itself on stuffing its vehicles with options for affordable costs. Whilst I may thankfully industry energy controls for better-shaped seats as I might in a Mustang or Porsche, what number of might be irked that their range-topping Kia EV6 lacks a commonplace function discovered on a $23,000 Soul?

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2023 Kia EV6 GT seats2023 Kia EV6 GT seat detail

Issues are a lot other beneath the outside, regardless that, and the most obvious exchange is within the GT’s powertrain. Each motors are stronger than the ones within the common all-wheel-drive EV6s at 215 horsepower for the entrance and 362 on the rear. Mixed they make 576 hp and 545 pound-feet of torque – will increase of 256 hp and 99 lb-ft. Kia additionally claims those motors will propel the 4,795-pound EV6 GT to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds with a best pace of 161 mph. We did not get it going that rapid, however we did have the ability to run it on a drag strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway,  managing an 11.7-second quarter-mile time with a lure pace of 117. Numbers apart, you’ll be able to actually really feel the added energy. It is going to pin you exhausting, and it feels sturdy all through freeway speeds, most effective beginning to taper quite previous 100 mph.

Apparently, Kia famous all the way through the click release that top energy begins to dip underneath the 70% rate mark, however didn’t point out via how a lot. We did have a while to power the vehicles with complete fees in addition to partly depleted in the street and, a minimum of in that real-world surroundings, may no longer hit upon a loss in energy. However if you are making plans on monitoring a GT or doing every other high-performance riding, you can most probably need to remember to rate it to the brim, after which pass simple on methods to the observe.

Naturally, the chassis has been tweaked to fulfill the GT’s general functionality intent. It options stiffer springs, further entrance and rear reinforcements, and electronically adjustable shocks. The rear motor could also be attached to an electronically-controlled mechanical limited-slip differential. It is all adjustable by means of quite a lot of power modes, that have expanded from Eco, Customary and Game to incorporate GT and a user-customizable mode. Past the standard throttle calibration and steerage weight, they regulate the true energy output, torque break up, suspension firmness, traction and steadiness keep an eye on and limited-slip differential serve as.

2023 Kia EV6 GT steering wheel2023 Kia EV6 GT GT button

Now around the board, the GT rides less attackable and has much less frame roll than the common all-wheel-drive EV6s, however it is just somewhat extra so in Eco and Customary. Game is a step additional, and GT is downright stiff. The roads round Las Vegas are lovely darn easy, so it was once exhausting to note, however the ordinary time the pavement were given tough, it were given bumpy sufficient that you simply’d most likely be achieving for a comfier surroundings. In fact, you’ll be able to mix ‘n match settings within the customized mode, so you’ll be able to, as an example, get most energy or tighter steerage with softer suspension settings so compromises aren’t actually vital.

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Make no mistake, regardless that, from a functionality viewpoint, the GT surroundings is essentially the most thrilling. All that energy coupled with lightning-quick throttle reaction or even essentially the most competitive regenerative braking is very entertaining. And the ones stiff suspension settings do in truth in any case make the EV6 really feel gentle and nimble, a minimum of on public roads. It adjustments instructions temporarily and does not really feel love it’s heaving itself this manner and that. It is poised extra like a Polestar 2. The rear-drive bias and lenient steadiness keep an eye on additionally imply it loves to wiggle its bottom. Different settings reminiscent of Game have extra energetic traction and steadiness keep an eye on settings, and so they stay the entrance/rear energy break up somewhat extra even.

It cannot rather cover all that weight on a race observe, regardless that. We had a while at the brief dealing with direction out of doors the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, or even with the huge enhancements in responsiveness, there is no getting round that you want to be cautious in corners with such a lot mass. However the chassis is rather communicative, and it is simple to regulate its angle in turns with the throttle, both via lifting off or pushing more difficult. And it’s a laugh to sling the again finish out, particularly with the “hidden” glide mode that allows you to totally roast the tires or even spin out if that’s what it involves. The sound of tire squealing and not anything else is lovely a laugh, and it is glorious that EV makers are construction vehicles that assist you to be foolish.

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2023 Kia EV6 GT action turn right to go left

There are two issues which may be somewhat greater at the GT. First is the steerage. It is mighty numb and might be extra exact. Preliminary turn-in might be sharper, too. And the brakes are somewhat cushy and no longer at all times the very best to modulate. They are belongings you get used to, and the remainder of the auto is a laugh sufficient to forgive them, but it surely’s the fine-tuning of number one controls like this that regularly separate essentially the most particular and remarkable functionality vehicles from the entirety else. The GT simply isn’t there.

OK, so there is additionally a 3rd factor. The EPA differ for the EV6 GT is not nice at 206 miles because it has the the similar 77.4-kWh battery as its siblings regardless of all the ones additional horses. It’s no other than if a V8-powered type had the similar gasoline tank measurement as a four-cylinder model. Thankfully, like its much less tough siblings, the GT nonetheless options 800-volt electric structure and the facility to make the most of 350-kW rapid chargers (not like the Mustang Mach-E GT and lots of different EVs), and it could possibly pre-condition its battery after a charging station is put into the navigation gadget to be able to optimize charging pace upon arriving.

That’s a significant merit for the GT as opposed to different high-powered EVs, however so too is its worth, which begins at $62,695. The 480-hp Mach-E GT and roughly 450-hp Tesla Style Y Efficiency each get started at round $70,000. The Polestar 2 with twin motors and the Efficiency package deal slides in underneath the $60,000 mark, however continues to be shy of the Kia’s outright output at 469 horsepower.

The Kia EV6 GT is not absolute best, however it is nonetheless a mighty a laugh device. It is via a long way essentially the most thrilling and playful automobiles at the E-GMP platform. That signifies that no longer most effective is it a blast, but it surely comes with the entire inherent styling and EV goodness of that platform. With its value-packed worth, you’ll be able to’t have the funds for to pass over having a look at one if you are short of some electrical pace.