What Car? says...
The stats for the Kia EV6 GT – 577bhp, 162mph, 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds – sound like the numbers for something properly exotic. Italian or German maybe, with a rowdy V8 under the bonnet.
This isn't a sports car review, though: the EV6 GT is the hottest version of our 2022 Car of the Year, the Kia EV6. In other words, Kia has taken our favourite electric SUV and turned it into a performance car.
With near-silent electric running, it doesn’t shout about that performance with a rorty exhaust note, and as you can see from the photos, it doesn’t do so with the way it looks either. In fact, the visual changes compared with the regular EV6 amount to some larger (21in) alloy wheels and some neon yellow brake callipers. Even on the inside, the differences are fairly minimal.
However, Kia has given the EV6 GT plenty of upgrades you can’t see, including more power (obviously), bespoke suspension and a clever electronic differential that can automatically shuffle power to the wheels with the most grip.
As you might expect, the GT costs a lot more to buy than other versions of the EV6, and because it’s heavier and has super-sticky tyres to grip the road better, it won’t get you as far on a charge. Fortunately, it doesn’t lose the super-fast charging ability of lesser versions.
What about rivals? Well, the 'blink and you'll miss it' acceleration sets it against fast electric cars such as the Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron GT (which are closely related to each other and cost far more), plus Performance versions of the Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model Y.
So, does the Kia EV6 GT beat its rivals as comprehensively as the regular version? We'll tell you everything you need to know over the next few pages of this review.
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Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Somehow the word ‘fast’ doesn’t quite convey the way the Kia EV6 GT can build speed. It has two enormous electric motors – one driving the front wheels and the other turning the rears – that together produce 577bhp. That’s more power than a Porsche 911 Turbo, and means the GT can blast from 0-62mph in a staggering 3.5sec. If you put your foot down hard at any speed, the incredible G-force acting on your body might make you feel a bit giddy.
In fact, the EV6 GT is capable of beating the pricier Porsche Taycan 4S in a drag race, and is only fractionally slower than the Tesla Model 3 Performance. It’s no surprise, then, that this is the fastest-accelerating car Kia has ever built (although the Kia Stinger GT has a higher top speed).
The bespoke adaptive suspension is designed to make the GT feel more agile than lesser versions of the Kia EV6 when you’re on a road with corners, without making the ride insufferable the rest of the time.
Choosing the firmer suspension settings has pros and cons. On the plus side, there’s less body lean, but unless the road is perfectly smooth, the GT is too easily unsettled by mid-corner bumps.
It’s hard to get into a smooth rhythm because the car is bouncing around so much. That's one of the reasons the hot EV6 doesn’t inspire anywhere near as much confidence as the Model 3 Performance, and it's not ultimately as capable as that car overall.
We reckon you’re better off leaving the suspension in its most comfortable ‘normal’ mode and enjoying better composure and a smoother ride. You won’t get the direct, precise steering of the Model 3, let alone the feelsome, naturally weighted steering of a Taycan, though.
The EV6 GT's more powerful brakes help rein in all of that extra performance, and the sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres help, too. But the EV6 is still a very heavy car (around 2.2 tonnes) and is also fairly tall, so it doesn’t stop or go round corners like a proper sports car.
The GT’s bigger wheels, heavier motors and those stickier tyres also mean the official range between charges drops to a so-so 263 miles (all other version of the EV6 can manage more than 300). The Tesla Model Y Performance can officially do 319 miles, while the Model 3 Performance can do 340 miles.
The interior layout, fit and finish
So, the GT doesn’t look much different to any other Kia EV6 on the outside, but what about when you get behind the wheel? Well, the most obvious difference is the front seats. They're not full bucket seats like you get in some proper performance cars, but they do hug you better than the seats in the regular EV6 – or the Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model Y for that matter.
They also have some neon yellow piping, and the same colour is used on the steering-wheel stitching and the GT button (which puts the suspension and accelerator response in the best settings for enthusiastic driving).
The rest of the interior is much the same as a standard EV6's. That means it's on a par with the rival Teslas and the pricier Ford Mustang Mach-E GT but can't match the much more expensive Porsche Taycan or Audi e-tron GT.
Like all EV6s, the GT has a curved 12.3in touchscreen positioned conveniently high up on the middle of the dashboard. It’s easy to see and has a relatively intuitive operating system, so it's not too distracting to use while you're driving. You also get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring, and a 14-speaker Meridian sound system that sounds great.
Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
The Kia EV6 GT's extra power hasn't affected its impressive practicality. You get the same limo-like rear leg room, respectable head room and sizeable boot as any other model in the range.
You’ll be able to fit four or even five six-footers inside, along with seven carry-on suitcases beneath the tonneau cover in the main boot. There's a front boot, too, although as with all four-wheel drive versions of the EV6, it's absolutely tiny.
For lots more detail about space and practicality, see our main Kia EV6 review.
Buying & owning
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
The Kia EV6 GT is much cheaper than the Audi e-tron GT and Porsche Taycan, and quite a bit cheaper than the Tesla Model Y Performance. The only electric car offering similarly ballistic acceleration for the money is the Tesla Model 3 Performance.
The Model 3 will cost you less to own in the long run, though, mainly because it’s predicted to depreciate more slowly, but also because it’s more efficient. That means you’ll use less electricity for every mile you travel. It also has access to the Supercharger network, so you can charge up quickly (at speeds of up to 250kW) for a 10-80% top-up in less than half an hour.
Peak charging speed in the EV6 is 239kW but it can sustain a fast charging rate for longer than the Tesla, so a 10-80% charge can theoretically be covered off in just 18 minutes. The problem is that you’ll first need to find a public charging point capable of delivering that much power, then hope it isn’t in use or broken – issues you’ll rarely encounter at Tesla Supercharger locations.
You get plenty of equipment as standard with the EV6 GT, including climate control, adaptive cruise control, LED headlights, 21in alloys and a clever device that allows the charging port to double as a 3.5kW three-pin plug socket, which you can use to (very slowly) charge another electric car.
The EV6 was awarded five stars (out of five) for safety by Euro NCAP in 2022. The result doesn’t technically cover the GT version, but it suggests it will do a good job of protecting you and your passengers.
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|RRP price range||£62,645 - £62,645|
|Number of trims (see all)||1|
|Number of engines (see all)||1|
|Available fuel types (which is best for you?)||electric|
|Available doors options||5|
|Warranty||7 years / 100000 miles|
|Company car tax at 20% (min/max)||£90 / £125|
|Company car tax at 40% (min/max)||£181 / £250|