NEW KIA EV6 GT-LINE

High design and genuine innovations make the dual-motor GT-Line flagship a stand-out performer.

The most hotly anticipated Kia since the hard-hitting Stinger, the EV6 is not only Kia’s first dedicated EV, it also signals the transformation of a brand that promises to bring at least another dozen BEVs to market by 2027.

But first, the EV6, and expectations of this lowish-riding family crossover were sky-high since it was crowned 2022 European Car of the Year. It subsequently cleaned up at the prestigious Red Dot Design Awards, taking the Best of the Best accolade for its pioneering design and also winning the Innovative Products category. All huge endorsements.

Based on an advanced skateboard-style chassis, the EV6 offers one of the most spacious interiors in its mid-sized class, a driving range of over 500km in most cases, and 800-volt ultra-fast charging technology, enabling charging from 10 to 80 per cent in just 18 minutes. The Kia platform might be shared with the acclaimed Hyundai Ioniq 5 but there are stark differences in design and character, and these are most apparent in the current top-spec variant, badged GT-Line.

The powerful, forward-looking shape certainly reflects the dynamic driving appeal of a car that accelerates smoothly and silently to 100km/h in 5.2 seconds despite its total weight trickling over two tons. From the get-go, the ride feels polished in default settings, even on the 20-inch alloys fitted, thanks to the long 2900mm wheelbase and bespoke Australasian suspension tuning. The EV6 also steers accurately and with good feel, attacking corners keenly, aided by the rear-biased set-up of the AWD system. Paddles behind the steering wheel adjust the strength of the regenerative braking, and Sport mode adds tautness and urgency to all responses.

Initial impressions of the luxurious GT-Line cabin are of excellent space and comfort for all passengers, and Tesla owners should take note that the early-production cars we sampled were extremely well put together. The dashboard is dominated by two 12.3-inch screens that are linked and curve gently towards the driver. Their combined high-definition LCD display delivers all vehicle and infotainment details with clarity, although there are still plenty of well-sited physical buttons for controlling the majority of functions. The supportive suede seats are ventilated and a 14-speaker Meridian audio system brings top-class acoustic values.

Returning to that exterior, the EV6 is the product of three design studios with former BMW design head, Karim Habib, now in charge of Kia’s Global Design Centre. He describes the EV6 as combining Kia’s very best technology for a new era while pushing design boundaries with contrasting combinations of sharp stylistic elements and sculptural shapes. The aesthetics are certainly dramatic and arguably more emotive than those of other comparable EVs.

For example, character lines run along the bottom of doors and curve up towards the rear wheel arches, elongating the profile and creating a sense of forward motion. Overhangs are short, the wheelbase is clearly extended, the centre of gravity appears low and the overall windcheating shape registers a drag coefficient of just 0.28. Flush door handles have been incorporated into the doors and the GT-Line look is lifted by the inclusion of an adaptive LED lighting package.

It goes without saying that the EV6 offers endless user personalisation inside and out, and after this positive but fleeting introduction, we look forward to a full week of immersion very soon.

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KIA EV6 GT-Line

MOTOR two electric motors

BATTERY 77.4kWh lithium-ion

POWER 239kW/605Nm

TRANSMISSION Single-speed auto

DRIVETRAIN All-wheel drive

WHEELS 20-inch alloy

TYRES 255/45 R20

LENGTH 4.69m

WEIGHT 2015kg

0-100km/h 5.2 secs

RANGE 506km

PRICE from $106,990

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