Thursday, 24 June 2021

Electric Kia shows us the future

Electric Kia shows us the future

TODAY we take a look into the future with a model that signals one major carmaker’s significant step into the coming world of all-electric cars.

Last week I wrote about the Kia Sorento that uses a new Smartstream electrified powertrain — the first time that hybrid power has featured in the Sorento line-up.

The Sorento was, I said, Kia’s most high-tech car yet with its progressive connectivity, driver assistance and infotainment technologies.

Well, coming soon from Kia is a car that takes this a big step further. The EV6 brings long-range, zero-emissions power, 800V ultra-fast charging and futuristic styling to the crossover SUV market.

The EV6 is powered exclusively by electric energy. There is a choice of multiple all-electric, zero-emission powertrains, including a long-range (77.4kWh) battery pack capable of travelling over 510 kilometres (316 miles) on a single charge on the WLTP combined cycle.

Are we all ready for this? Kia, like other major carmakers, believes we are. The EV6 is the first of 11 new battery electric vehicles (BEV) from Kia that will appear by 2026.

It forms the first part of Kia’s transition to the new era of electrification. The carmaker’s mid- to long-term strategy for BEVs, plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid electric (HEV) vehicles will make up 40 per cent of its total sales by 2030. So what is the EV6 and when will it be seen on British roads?

UK customer deliveries begin in October 2021 for a car that certainly looks the part both outside and inside the cabin.

The EV6 can recharge from 10 to 80 per cent battery in as little as 18 minutes from the fastest chargers.

Every version of the five-seat electric crossover will feature the curved panoramic display with twin 12.3in touchscreens across the dashboard.

This provides Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration as standard, as well as Kia’s “connected car” UVO Connect system and a range of dedicated EV displays.

A battery heat pump, to improve driving range in sub-zero temperatures, is standard on the EV6 GT, and available as an option on the GT-Line and
GT-Line S models.

One concern about EVs (electric vehicles) is whether they come with all the basic equipment of a “normal” car.

Well, even the basic EV6 has a great deal of standard equipment. The entry-level EV6 (from £40,895) is rear-wheel drive, powered by a 168kW motor on the rear axle (226bhp).

Highlights of this model include: dark grey 19in alloy wheels with diamond-cut finish; electrically folding, adjustable and heated door mirrors; LED headlights, rear lights and daytime running lights; black vegan leather upholstery; and heated front seats and steering wheel.

The lesson there is that you don’t have to “go without” basic car comforts just because you drive an EV. Kia expects that sales of EV6 GT-Line models (£43,895 to £47,395) will account for the highest proportion of UK sales.

There is a choice of drivetrains. The rear-wheel drive model costs £43,895, and is offered with a 168kW (226bhp) rear motor.

All-wheel drive models, from £47,395, produce a combined peak power output of 239kW (321bhp) from the dual-motor drivetrain.

Over and above the standard EV6, GT-Line models offer additional standard equipment including front parking sensors, premium relaxation seats (tilt-back front seats for a “NASA nap” while charging), memory driver and power front passenger seats, alloy driver pedals and wireless smartphone charger.

EV6 GT-Line S models also offer a choice of rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations, and will be available from £48,395 and £51,895 respectively.

A range of advanced technology features are offered as standard in GT-Line S models compared to GT-Line variants, including 20in wheels with dark grey inserts, ventilated and heated front seats, power tailgate, panoramic sunroof with tilting and sliding functionality and 14-speaker Meridian audio system.

The range-topping GT model, due in the second half of 2022, will feature a powerful all-wheel drive system.

Its 430kW dual-motor drivetrain offers a combined total power output of 577bhp.

Kia engineers currently finalising the development of the EV6 GT are targeting a 3.5-second nought to 62mph sprint. GT models will include a range of additional features to maximise driving performance and enhance its presence on the road.

These include: GT exterior styling (removes panoramic sunroof); 21in wheels; bucket seats, trimmed in black suede with neon green highlights; electronically controlled suspension; and electronic limited-slip differential.

As you can see from the details above, the EV6 will lack nothing in terms of creature comforts you might find in any conventional car on sale in Britain today.

The test will be in running one from day to day and whether this proves satisfactory with regard to range and performance.

What is in no doubt though is that the Kia EV6 offers a peek into the future of cars that will soon be seen on our roads.


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