The fastest electric car in Korean automobile history, the Kia EV6 GT, has finally been released. The EV6 GT is a high‒performance version of Kia’s representative electric vehicle EV6. As the name ‘GT’ indicates, it boasts strong power and dynamic driving performance. At the HMG Driving Experience Center located in Taean‒gun, Chungcheongnam‒do, we thoroughly experienced the performance of the EV6 GT with a maximum output of 430 kW (585 hp) and a maximum torque of 740 Nm (75.5 kgf·m) and the automaker’s technology enabling it.
EV6 GT stands out as a high‒performance model with its dynamic design. The sleek body shape of the EV6, sporty design elements throughout the body, and 21‒inch wheels with a 5‒spoke structure add to the dynamic atmosphere unique to the high‒performance model. In particular, the exclusive design of the EV6 GT stood out. A bumper with an extended intake to maximize cooling, a newly added rear diffuser, and neon‒colored brake calipers are design elements that clearly manifest as a high‒performance model.
Meanwhile, the HMG Driving Experience Center was the best place to properly check the capabilities of the EV6 GT. Test courses with various conditions such as High Speed Oval (HSO) with a maximum inclination of 42 degrees, 3.4 km‒long dry circuit, multi‒purpose course and wet course, revealed various features of the EV6 GT.
3.5 seconds: the time it takes to prove the explosive acceleration of the EV6 GT
We were able to experience the acceleration and braking power of the EV6 GT on the multi‒purpose course. The test course, made of vast asphalt, consisted of a long straight section like a drag race, and a measuring instrument was installed in the middle of the course to check its acceleration performance. The acceleration performance of the EV6 GT has been proven through the 400m drag race video released in 2021. In the video, the EV6 GT accelerated as soon as it saw the start signal and demonstrated explosive acceleration performance right next to sports cars such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Porsche.
As is well known, measuring the time it takes to reach 100 km/h from a standstill is the easiest way to see how fast a car can accelerate. The EV6 GT’s specs record was 3.5 seconds, and we actually checked it out. First of all, there was nothing special to prepare at the starting point; After pressing the GT mode button on the steering wheel, all we had to do was fix our eyes on our final destination and move our feet from the brake pedal to the accelerator at the start signal.
As we floored the accelerator, the EV6 GT sprinted off the road without any hesitation. That force pushed the car with tremendous torque from the start, and the explosive acceleration pushed our body back. There was no engine roar, no tire friction: it was a silent run. We looked at the dashboard to check the driving speed at that moment, but the digital speedometer was already showing three digits. Exceeding 100 km/h in an instant, the EV6 GT vehemently reached its destination, and the time displayed on the instrument was 3 seconds 48.
The record of 3 seconds 48 is truly comparable to that of a high‒performance sports car. The acceleration in GT mode, which seems unrealistic, reaches 0.9G. The secret to this explosive performance lies in the enhanced front and rear PE system. A completely redesigned rear‒wheel motor for the EV6 GT produces a maximum output of 270 kW and spins up to 21,000 rpm. In addition, a dual‒channel power system composed of silicon carbide and power semiconductor is housed in the inverter, which is a key component of the high‒performance GT. Thanks to this, the EV6 GT exhibits a maximum output of 430 kW (585 horsepower) and a maximum torque of 740 Nm (75.5 kgf·m), and reaches from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.5 seconds.
260 km/h: the ultra‒high‒speed range
Another iconic figure the EV6 GT has is top speed. We entered the high‒speed main circuit to verify its official maximum speed, 260 km/h. The four‒lane high‒speed main circuit is an oval course consisting of an endless long straight road with two corners. On a wide circuit with no speed limit, the EV6 GT started accelerating quickly to record its top speed in GT mode.
The time from 0 to 100 km/h is very short. The EV6 GT was already exceeding 200 km/h before reaching the first corner. Then, the EV6 GT, which entered the corner without slowing down, turned along the sharply inclined first lane. The centrifugal force from the fast turning speed made us nervous, but the EV6 GT showed stable cornering. At that time, the speed was about 230 km/h, and as it re‒entered the straight course, the EV6 GT accelerated once again.
Finally, the speedometer of the EV6 GT was displaying 260 km/h. After entering the high‒speed main circuit, it marked the top speed in half a lap. Outside the window looked surreal, and the EV6 GT continued to drive at high speed while maintaining strong grip. The high‒performance model indeed offered from explosive acceleration, tireless power, to driving stability at high speeds, aiming the highest speed.
This robust performance of the Kia EV6 GT comes from the enhanced PE system and battery. In particular, the EV6 GT’s battery has increased its internal output by 190%, from 253kW to 481kW to seamlessly power its enhanced electric motor. Power mapping in GT mode is also optimized for high‒speed driving; For example, the 80‒100% acceleration range is delicately mapped to provide a constant acceleration feel even at high speeds.
Agile and sharp driving texture and exhilarating drift mode
On the complex dry circuits, EV6 GT offered such dynamic handling. On a 3.4km‒long circuit with a total of 16 corners, the EV6 GT increased its speed with agility and provided sporty driving sensibility based on stable traction even in consecutive corners. In particular, the e‒LSD mounted on the EV6 GT did a great job when escaping a corner quickly. The e‒LSD housed on the rear wheels provided a sharp cornering sensibility by actively controlling the driving force of the left and right wheels, and it minimized the loss of driving force in each different friction.
The chassis of the EV6 GT, which was improved for sports driving, also stood out. The EV6 GT changed the front suspension to a MacPherson multi‒link for dynamic behavior. And its front wheel rigid body was tuned softly and its rear wheel rigid. In addition, Electronic Control Suspension (ECS) housed on the front and rear wheels provided excellent steering safety even during sudden acceleration, braking, or turns. The ride comfort change that the ECS makes was the most impressive; The ECS actively adjusted the damping force according to the driving mode, which significantly changed the ride quality. In normal mode, it offered the smooth ride quality of a luxury sedan, and in GT mode, it performed similar to a sports car with a hard lower body.
It showed rapid acceleration, new top speed, and dynamic circuit driving that can only be seen in drag races, but the highlight of this test drive was the drift. The EV6 GT offers a drift mode that allows pure driving fun without electronic control intervention. To enter drift mode: first, shift to ‘P’ after bringing the car to a full stop. Then, release ESC completely while flooring the brake. After setting to Sport or GT mode, pull both shift paddles for 3 seconds to activate drift mode.
We tested its drifting ability on a wet course with relatively low friction. The EV6 GT, which offers drift mode, slid the rear wheel without difficulty thanks to its powerful output. When the car turns, floor the accelerator pedal to generate a power slide, and while keeping your gaze in the direction the car is turning, adjust the car’s movement with the counter steer and accelerator to create an exhilarating drifting experience. The drift capability of the EV6 GT is more easily deployed with the fast acceleration response characteristic of electric vehicles. Once you get used to the accelerator control and steering, you can enjoy the thrill of drifting continuously.
Kia EV6 GT: The capabilities of the next‒generation GT realized through EV
With the release of the high‒performance model EV6 GT, the automaker’s EV6 lineup has been enriched; The EV6 has proven its excellent competitiveness with the Korea Car of the Year award and other splendid winnings at the global automobile awards, and the automaker has finally completed its EV6 lineup with the high‒performance GT model. The fact that the top‒of‒the‒line performance of the lineup was demonstrated through EVs is very meaningful. The EV6 GT, which raised the driving performance to the limit based on E‒GMP, demonstrated the capabilities of the next‒generation GT in this test drive: powerful performance, sporty ride quality, and even a drift mode that offers pure driving fun.
Photography by Kim Jae‒woo